Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-OR 4th District) said the VA Roseburg Health Care System (VARHS) is a source of concern for constituents, who complained to the governor about the lack of effective and accountable management.
DeFazio claims nothing has changed at VARHS despite repeated outreach with VA leadership, including a direct appeal to VA Secretary David Shulkin last week.
“Poor management has resulted in degraded patient care and difficulty in recruiting and retaining talented medical professionals to help Oregon’s veterans. It’s outrageous that in addition to delays and government bureaucracy veteran care is being hampered by management issues,” Rep. DeFazio said. “Doctors, nurses, and other VA employees are putting their careers on the line to improve the system, risking potential retaliation from the same inadequate leadership. The status quo is entirely unacceptable, and it is time for the VA to stop passing the buck and take immediate action. Our veterans deserve better.”
Rep. DeFazio voiced his concerns while speaking in support of the Dr. Chris Kirkpatrick Whistleblower Protection Act. The legislation would create harsher penalties for those who retaliate against whistleblowers.
According to DeFazio’s office, in 2015 35% of whistleblower complaints came from VA employees.