New Scandal at the VA (Or Just More of the ‘Same-old?’)

Just when you think it can’t get any worse, it does.

The VA is in the news again this week. This time an employee incorrectly stored patient information, including social security numbers, in his office. This was going on after the revelations from Phoenix and after the FBI began their investigation.

Additionally, there have been a growing number of complaints that the VA has retaliated against whistleblowers. Over 25 complaints have been received by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel since June 1,2014.

To put it bluntly, the VA is still making a mess of their records, and when someone complains about anything within the VA, they are harassed and victimized by the VA management. This has got to stop. I am quickly moving from the ‘fix the problems’ camp to the ‘burn the whole structure down and start over’ mindset. Maybe I missed it, but I haven’t seen anything official about fixing the VA management problems, other than the same-old platitudes we have been hearing for decades.

The problems have been identified. The VA encourages and demands a culture of bureaucracy from all of their staff and won’t tolerate the inconvenience of actually doing their job. This attitude is completely wrong. Their job is taking care of our wounded vets. Period. Full stop.

[quote_right]”The time has come to rid the system of its current management and employees.”[/quote_right]It’s time to start over. It’s time to get rid of everyone who is not a caregiver at the VA (and some of the ones who are) and rebuild the system. Instead of creating a civilian system, why can’t we turn over the administration of the VA hospitals to the armed services? I am not claiming that military hospitals are superior to civilian hospitals, but the military already has a system for running medical facilities that does not encourage management and caregivers to stay in the same place and take advantage of the system.

Use the additional moneys that the government is going to throw at the VA system to recruit more young men and women in the healthcare field and make sure all of the corpsmen, nurses, doctors and other medical staff spend at least one tour in the Veteran’s hospitals.

Is there something I am missing?

I am serious about this. Nothing the VA administration has done since the news broke over this scandal has reflected anything other than a cover-your-ass attitude and ‘laying low until the problem blows over.’ It infuriates me that someone, anyone in the system would have so little worries about punishment that they wouldn’t change or attempt to hide their poor behavior.

If the current management and employees of the VA aren’t willing to make the changes necessary to completely rid the system of its repulsive and terrifying reputation, the time has come to rid the system of its current management and employees. Let the military take care of its own. They can’t possibly do a worse job than this embarrassment we have now.

Disclaimer: The opinions in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the views of this website. This author accepts all responsibility for the opinions and viewpoints in this article.

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Matt Towns

Matt is a former military journalist who spent 10 years in the US Navy. He served in various posts during his career, including a couple of deployments on the USS Valley Forge (CG-50). After leaving the Navy, he worked in management for a number of years before opening his own businesses. He ran those businesses until 2012 when he chose to leave the retail industry and return to writing. Matt currently works as a freelance writer, contributing to the US Patriot blog and other websites about political affairs, military activities and sailing.
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