As the Ranking Democratic Member of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, I called on the VA to fix the culture of secrecy and cover-ups that is far too prevalent within the VA at a hearing on patient safety at Department of Veterans Affairs' facilities.
How many times do we have to go down this road? Let's get beyond the bureaucracy and secrecy and restore veterans' confidence in the VA.
Recent patient safety events at the Dayton, Ohio; St. Louis, Missouri; and Miami, Florida VA medical centers have raised serious questions in Congress regarding the ability of the VA to properly respond to these occurrences and address concerns regarding safety, communications, and accountability.
The findings beg the questions of proper accountability, effective oversight and enforcement of clear policies and procedures. Policies and procedures that are sometimes not followed -- or worse -- get completely ignored. The best industry-leading policies and procedures are worthless when no one seems to be responsible to ensure that they are conscientiously followed day in and day out. I would like to know, where is the strong leadership and effective communication that is critical when you are entrusted with the care and well being of our nation's veterans?