Senator Mike Johanns today expressed deep concern about the procedures at veterans medical facilities across the country. Speaking at a Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee hearing, Johanns outlined problems included in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Inspector General (IG) report on endoscope use and reprocessing released on June 16. Out of the 42 sites inspected by the IG, less than half were following prescribed protocols for the disinfection and reuse of endoscopy equipment.
"The IG report on the very substandard endoscopy reprocessing at our veterans facilities is extremely troubling," Johanns said. "I am deeply concerned that this treatment might not be isolated when it comes to the quality of care our veterans receive. The lack of effective management of this problem, along with other repeated incidents, points to a potentially larger and more serious problem. I urge the VA to step up to the plate in its oversight of its veterans facilities to ensure our military heroes are getting the treatment they deserve."
Senator Johanns also sent a letter to VA Secretary Eric Shinseki regarding the IG report. The letter outlines the same concerns Johanns expressed in today's Veterans' Affairs Committee hearing, and asks Secretary Shinseki to provide him with a response detailing VA's corrective actions.