Report cites distrust, retaliation at VA - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Report cites distrust, retaliation at VA

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A federal report of the VA offered several suggestions on improving the huge department. (Source: CBS) A federal report of the VA offered several suggestions on improving the huge department. (Source: CBS)

WASHINGTON, DC (CBS) - A White House review of the Veterans Affairs healthcare system says the VA is plagued by systemic failures and must be restructured. The review comes weeks after it was learned some veterans died while waiting for medical care.

Deputy White House Chief of Staff Rob Nabors led the review of the Veterans Affairs healthcare system. He began the 6-week study in Phoenix, AZ, where 18 veterans died waiting for healthcare.

In his report, Nabors details a "corrosive culture… marked by poor management…distrust between some VA employees and management…a history of retaliation against employees... and a lack of accountability."

Those problems led to the resignation of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki and three other department officials.

Nabors offers several suggestions for improving VA healthcare. One is to eliminate the previous mandate of a 14-day maximum wait time for appointments. The review called that "ill-defined and unrealistic."

He said to update the VA's outdated scheduling software, which was first used almost 30 years ago.

The system also needs to hire more doctors and nurses and plan for changes in the demographics of veterans, including more female veterans, and the growing number of older veterans.

Already, the VA is reporting more than 180,000 new appointments for veterans since the scandal broke. A number that gives some scale to the backlog many veterans have experienced.

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