Retaliation at VA common, watchdog group finds
WASHINGTON — A pharmacy supervisor at the VA was placed on leave after complaining about errors and delays in delivering medications to patients at a hospital in Palo Alto, Calif. In Pennsylvania, a doctor was removed from clinical work after complaining that on-call doctors were refusing to go to a VA hospital in Wilkes-Barre.
Medical professionals from coast to coast have pointed out problems at the VA, only to suffer retaliation from supervisors and other high-ranking officials, according to a report released on Monday by a private government watchdog.
The report compiled by the Project on Government Oversight, a group that conducts investigations and works with whistle-blowers, is based on comments and complaints filed by nearly 800 current and former VA employees and veterans. Those comments indicate that concerns about the VA go far beyond the long waiting times or falsified appointment records that have received much recent attention, extending to the quality of health care services veterans receive, the report said.
The group set up a website in mid-May for complaints and said it has received allegations of wrongdoing from 35 states and the District of Columbia.
“A recurring and fundamental theme has become clear: VA employees across the country fear they will face repercussions if they dare to raise a dissenting voice,” said Danielle Brian, the group's executive director.
The report from the group, known as POGO, emerged a day before the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee was to hold a hearing on the nomination of Robert McDonald to be VA secretary.
A federal investigative agency says it is examining 67 claims of retaliation by supervisors at the VA against employees who filed whistle-blower complaints. The independent Office of Special Counsel said 30 of the complaints about retaliation have passed the initial review stage.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Suspect in Colorado clinic attack Dear makes court appearance
- Police shooting of black teen cited in University of Chicago threat
- House majority leader predicts no government shutdown over Planned Parenthood
- Atlantic Coast cities rise up against offshore drilling plans
- Opposition mounts to genetic modification of human embryos
- ‘Homeland’ to hair: Emails peek into Hillary Clinton’s personal life
- Ex-speaker, once a major powerbroker, convicted in N.Y.
- New York City’s salt warning rule to take effect at chain restaurants
- House may move quickly to overhaul visa waiver program
- EPA increases ethanol in gasoline supply for 2016
- Storm dumps snow on Northern Plains