VA doctor shortage fueled by management issues, poor pay

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The Department of Veterans Affairs gets good grades for effort, but it still has much work to do in the recruitment and retention of physicians to serve those who faced death for their country.

When the Government Accountability Office says “challenges remain,” it means an agency has problems — in this case, too few doctors. Pay is an issue, but so is the department’s personnel management. A recent  GAO report about the Veterans Health Administration, the component providing health care through 1,252 facilities, including 170 medical centers, outlines three major management troubles related to its doctor shortage:

“VHA’s data on the number of physicians that provided care at VA medical centers (VAMC) were incomplete.
“VHA provided VAMCs with guidance on how to determine the number of physicians and support staff needed for some physician occupations, although it lacked sufficient guidance for its medical and surgical specialties.

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U.S. Sen. John Cornyn told American Legion members here Friday that changes in federal law will make it easier for veterans to seek health care outside the VA while ensuring that they can still go to the system’s hospitals and clinics.


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