Last month, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Assistant Inspector General John Daigh released over 120 previously unpublished investigations by the VA’s inspector general revealing continued mismanagement, corruption, and underperformance of the VA medical centers as far back as 2006. Only after Daigh faced sharp criticism and claims of “hiding” investigation results, did he decide to make these results public. After seeing what these investigations uncovered, it is easy to see why Daigh was hesitant to do so.
There are clear improper treatment procedures ranging from overprescribing of psychiatric medications and pain killers, overlooking cases of cancer among numerous patients, and even patients being set on fire during surgery mishaps. Yes, this really did happen.
The reports outline construction overspending exceeding over $1 Billion, prevalence of off-the-books appointment wait lists, and claims of whistleblower intimidation. The failure to release these problem-ridden reports confirms lawmaker’s criticism of the lack of transparency of the VA.
In addition, Lawmakers agree that there is an issue of accountability within the VA. Currently, the VA has self-correcting disciplinary procedures which allow them to avoid reform and strict reprimands. One such example comes from the Veterans Hospital in Florida where a physician who was found to be prescribing significantly high rates of controlled substances was not faced with any reprimands. Instead, he was counseled for 2 years by his supervisors on safer prescribing practices, which the inspector general found to “not result in changes to his prescribing practices.”
The VA’s tendency to conceal these reports from the public as long as possible goes to show that there needs to be continued reform and additional oversight by Congressional committees.
To read more on this story, visit http://www.militarytimes.com/story/military/benefits/health-care/2015/05/17/veterans-affairs-inspector-general-reports/27302011/.
If you believe that you have been harmed by a government employee at the VA while receiving medical treatment, or need help with your VA disability claim or approval, contact Legal Help for Veterans to preserve your rights.
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