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Jaime Herrera Beutler on Latest VA Delays: Agency Must Get to the Root Cause of 30-plus Day Wait Times for Southwest Washington Veterans
Poor retention of VA health care staff continues to plague Vancouver’s VA
Jaime Herrera Beutler today released the following statement responding to an Associated Press report revealing more delays at the Vancouver Veterans Affairs Division.
Jaime Herrera Beutler today released the following statement responding to an Associated Press report revealing more delays at the Vancouver Veterans Affairs Division:
“The news that more than 1,900 veterans in our region are still being forced to wait longer than 30 days for a doctor appointment is extremely disappointing, and still unacceptable. I am also alarmed at the VA's failure to retain health care staff, both in the region and nationally. The high turnover at the VA presents a serious challenge to providing the high-quality care our veterans deserve.
“Last year, I helped advance the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act through Congress to help get veterans proper health care in a timely manner. In addition to strong reforms meant to protect whistleblowers and remove bad actors in the VA’s bureaucracy who manipulated wait times, the bill dedicated a significant amount of funding to specifically address the staff shortage within the VA. However, this latest report shows that staffing problems aren’t being resolved. Months after this bill became law, we are seeing providers leave at nearly the same rate as they being are hired and veterans are still waiting too long for appointments.
“I’m going to use every legislative tool necessary to make sure the VA fully understands what’s causing these staffing issues and is fixing the problems. Without that step, veterans will never have the access to doctors that they were promised."