This piece from the American Spectator clearly has a conservative viewpoint. You may agree or you may not. However, the points raised about what to do about VA healthcare are quite valid. The system is broken. That is why the VA didn’t want its rating system outed. For many years, politicians of all persuasions and from both parties have said that the VA needs to be better and that we need to take care of our veterans. Whether the new administration can change the performance and culture of the VA remains to be seen. Regardless of who you supported in the election, let’s hope someone can do better at this troubled agency. Our veterans deserve it.
After this post was circulated in the office, one of my colleagues, a retired VA executive, offered theses insights:
"In any revamping of VA, the Secretary obviously sets the tone; however, there are some other key players who make the actual wheels turn. The Undersecretary for Veterans Health Administration is the chief doctor. This has to be the person who holds the hospital Chiefs of Staff accountable on the doc to doc level.
Hospital directors need to be removed from civil service protection and held to objective criteria to keep their jobs.
One thing apparent in the records that I review is the lack of physical resources to practice modern medicine. The CT scanner seems to be part and parcel of almost every hospital visit. My ENT doc even has a specialized small one for doing CT scans of the head right in the office. Yet the VA seems to have to schedule CT scans a week in advance – thus showing a lack of equipment and most likely skilled personnel to operate it. If someone needs an MRI on an emergent basis, it is not uncommon to see the VA have to ship them to a private hospital to have it done.
Anyone who has Medicare and qualifies for no co-pay at the VA should be shifted to the private sector and let VA just pick up the co-pay. This would free up resources for service connected vets and reduce overall system burden.
The rampant thoughts of an old VA retiree…"