VA problems are nothing new

June 3, 2014 

Problems have existed at the Department of Veterans Affairs for a long time; going back to June 16, 2009, can give an example.

Chairman Rep. Harry E. Brown of the Veteran's Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations made his opening statement on a hearing pertaining to endoscopy procedures at the VA. Brown said the following: "We are here today to evaluate endoscopy procedures used by the Department of Veterans Affairs since this subcommittee was made aware of the improper reprocessing, incorrect usage and substandard cleaning of endoscopy equipment at Murfreesboro, Tenn., Augusta, Ga., and Miami, Fla. We have learned that 53 veterans and maybe more were potentially infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis.

Additionally, during surprise inspections last month more than half of the time VA facilities shockingly did not have proper training and guidelines in place for common endoscopy procedures."

In Veterans Today, Robert L. Hanafin (a retired major) stated about this hearing: "I'm among those here to tell you that nothing is going to change systemic problems that have existed for decades until VA upper and middle management, regardless if medical or administrative personnel, are disciplined for such failures to follow the VA's own directives and policies. The employees, especially the upper and middle managers who supposedly set an example for the rank and file, should be held to the same standards of responsibility and accountability."

Russell C. Fette

Collinsville

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