Sunday, July 16, 2017

Doctors Warn Manchester VA is Endangering Patients

UPDATE
Stars and Stripes July 17. 2017
"WASHINGTON — The director and chief of staff of the VA hospital in Manchester, N.H., have been removed from their posts following a news report of dirty conditions, long patient wait times and substandard care, Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin announced Sunday."

At a four-star veterans’ hospital: Care gets ‘worse and worse’
Boston Globe
By Jonathan Saltzman and Andrea Estes, Globe Staff
July 15, 2017

So far, 11 physicians and medical employees — including the hospital’s retiring chief of medicine, former chief of surgery, and former chief of radiology — have contacted a federal whistle-blower agency and the Globe Spotlight Team to say the Manchester VA is endangering patients.
MANCHESTER, N.H. — This is what the US Department of Veterans Affairs says a four-star hospital looks like:

One operating room has been abandoned since last October because exterminators couldn’t get rid of the flies. Doctors had to cancel surgeries in another OR last month after they discovered what appeared to be rust or blood on two sets of surgical instruments that were supposedly sterile.

Thousands of patients, including some with life-threatening conditions, struggle to get any care at all because the program for setting up appointments with outside specialists has broken down. One man still hadn’t gotten an appointment to see an oncologist this spring, more than four weeks after a diagnosis of lung cancer, according to a hospital document obtained by the Globe.

Remarkably, leaders of the Manchester VA have confirmed many of the problems, from the fly-infested operating room — “an episodic issue,” said one administrator — to thousands of patients waiting indefinitely for specialist care, which the leaders blamed on the private company hired by the federal government to set up veterans’ appointments outside the hospital. read more here


But as Congress has a habit of doing, they just talk about fixing the VA. When you read this part, be prepared to grab your head first. It will explode like mine did!
“They ignored him basically for 20 years and allowed this thing to grow and grow and grow,” said Abramson, who recently wrote the VA in Manchester and in Boston that his client intends to sue for negligence.

And as for the VA, this is the statement that came into my email.
VA Announces Immediate Actions at Manchester VA Medical Center
07/16/2017 04:55 PM EDT


WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs David J. Shulkin, M.D., announced actions the department is taking immediately to respond to whistleblower concerns at the Manchester, New Hampshire, VA Medical Center (VAMC) detailed in an article in today’s Boston Globe.

The VA Office of the Medical Inspector and the VA Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection are being sent in beginning Monday to conduct a top-to-bottom review of the Manchester VAMC, including all allegations in the article.

In addition, effective immediately, the department has removed the director and chief of staff at the facility, pending the outcome of the review.

Alfred Montoya, the director of the VAMC in White River Junction, Vermont, will serve as the new director of the Manchester VAMC and the new chief of staff will be announced shortly.

Dr. Shulkin said, “These are serious allegations, and we want our Veterans and our staff to have confidence in the care we’re providing. I have been clear about the importance of transparency, accountability and rapidly fixing any and all problems brought to our attention, and we will do so immediately with these allegations.”