Tags: VA Scandal | Veterans affairs | Bob McDonald

VA Secretary Announces Further Reforms

Image: VA Secretary Announces Further Reforms
Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 16 Sep 2014 10:35 AM

Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald said that he plans to raise the pay for VA doctors and nurses as part of the effort to clear the backlog of appointments at veterans' healthcare facilities.

McDonald also made a commitment to increase clinic and hospital space, hire more employees, and offer better pay for providers so as to resolve the widespread issue of long wait-times throughout the VA system, Stars and Stripes reported.

"We have a lot of work to do," McDonald said in an address to the National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs Convention in San Diego on Monday. "I think we're well on our way, though, to ending the backlog by 2015."

The expansion, nevertheless, will take time to institute. Construction is currently underway on facilities in the San Diego area. In the meantime, clinics and hospitals have added night and weekend hours to reduce appointment delays while waiting for the expanded clinic space to be completed.

McDonald also noted that the department is trying to ensure that VA employees are actively working to reduce wait times as opposed to manipulating statistics to give that impression, as was discovered to be the case in a number of facilities across the country when the scandal unfolded.

"Hiding names in a drawer or on a secret wait list is obviously not committed to the mission," McDonald said.

Meanwhile, the VA is encouraging the inspector general to investigate facilities revealed to have been keeping secret lists, and he said that any suspected wrongdoing will be referred to the FBI in addition to any disciplinary action that may be taken.

"Delivering accountability is very important to us," he said.

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Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald said that he plans to raise the pay for VA doctors and nurses as part of the effort to clear the backlog of appointments at veterans' healthcare facilities.
Veterans affairs, Bob McDonald
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2014-35-16
Tuesday, 16 Sep 2014 10:35 AM
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