Tags: david shulkin | VA | pushing | DC hospital | director | ouster

Shulkin: VA Still Pushing for DC Hospital Director's Ouster

Fox News' "Fox & Friends"

By    |   Friday, 11 Aug 2017 09:06 AM

Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin is said to be looking into his new authorities under President Donald Trump's VA Accountability Act for further action against a former veteran's hospital director who is back on the government payroll after he appealed his firing.

"This is exactly why we needed the Accountability Act, and why the president signed new authorities for me to be able to remove people," Shulkin told Fox News' "Fox & Friends."

Brian Hawkins, the former director of the VA Medical Center in Washington, was fired in April after a probe revealed the hospital's patients were in danger because of a lack of organization and management that a report described as the "highest level of chaos," according to The Washington Post.

Hawkins appealed his firing to the Merit Systems Protection Board, and the VA was ordered to rehire him. He is back in Washington, performing administrative duties and not interacting with patients.

Shulkin said Hawkins was fired before the Accountability Act was passed, but that he's working on making sure the former administrators like him are fired and stay fired.

"I'm not going to allow us to bring back leaders who don't provide safe conditions for our veterans," said Shulkin. "We're going to have to look at this case again, and we're going to have to use the new authorities that I have under the accountability law."

Shulkin said even more evidence has come out against Hawkins than was available since he was first fired, and with that information, he believes the former hospital director will be fired again, and he'll stay fired.

While many have found the problems at the Washington VA center shocking, considering its location, Shulkin said the VA healthcare system is the largest in the country, and he believes the issues at that hospital and others are because of poor leadership.

"If you don't have the right people at the top of the organization, running the place where you actually care for this country's veterans, you are going to end up having these results," said Shulkin.

The secretary also said Friday that he continues to believe that in order to fix the issues facing the VA system, it needs to be built and strengthened, and veterans also need to be given more choice over where they get care.

On Saturday, Shulkin pointed out, Trump will sign choice extension legislation for the veterans. However, they will still need to ask the VA if they can seek outside care, but Shulkin said the administration is working with congressional leaders to fix the choice legislation so veterans themselves can make the decisions for their care.

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Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin is said to be looking into his new authorities under President Donald Trump's VA Accountability Act for further action against a former veteran's hospital director who is back on the government payroll after he appealed his firing.
david shulkin, VA, pushing, DC hospital, director, ouster
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2017-06-11
Friday, 11 Aug 2017 09:06 AM
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