Tags: veterans affairs | shortage | doctors

VA Beset by Shortage of Physicians

VA Beset by Shortage of Physicians
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By    |   Monday, 16 July 2018 11:55 AM

The hiring and retention of physicians is an acute problem at the Department of Veterans Affairs, one fueled by management issues at the agency and below market salaries, The Washington Post reported.

As of March, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), the arm of the VA providing healthcare, was beset by 1,673 vacant physician positions, a problem the American Legion called a "critical issue," the Post reported.

"By not adequately staffing VHA, VA's capacity to serve veterans suffers and forces more veterans to seek healthcare in the private sector at greater cost to the American taxpayers," Legion spokesman Joseph M. Plenzler told the Post.

The top line problems for VHA - it pays too little and it suffers from poor management in handling the more than 1,200 facilities - including 170 medical centers - for which it's responsible, the Post reports.

The General Accountability Office (GAO) highlighted 3 major problems in its June report:

"VHA's data on the number of physicians that provided care at VA medical centers (VAMC) were incomplete."

"VHA provided VAMCs with guidance on how to determine the number of physicians and support staff needed for some physician occupations, although it lacked sufficient guidance for its medical and surgical specialties."

"VHA used various strategies to recruit and retain its physician workforce, but had not comprehensively evaluated them to assess effectiveness."

"The VA needs to do a better job of determining shortages and developing a plan to fill vacancies," Garry Augustine, Washington executive director of Disabled American Veterans, told the Post.

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The hiring and retention of physicians is an acute problem at the Department of Veterans Affairs, one fueled by management issues at the agency and below market salaries.
veterans affairs, shortage, doctors
252
2018-55-16
Monday, 16 July 2018 11:55 AM
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