Thursday, July 10, 2014

Our government Health Care At Work

From Jamie Dupree:
In a hearing that stretched to midnight Tuesday night, the VA faced more bipartisan Congressional criticism as a group of four whistleblowers detailed how they spoke up about internal problems only to be subjected to personal attacks and retaliation from supervisors and top officials in the VA.
"I was immediately removed from my position," said Dr. Jose Mathews, who raised questions about the very light work load of psychiatric doctors at the St. Louis VA.
Mathews said just last month, he forwarded his concerns on certain work issues to the Acting VA Secretary - and he was quickly rebuked by a top VA official in his office.
"I clearly felt that I was reprimanded for writing to Secretary Gibson," Mathews said.
Mathews wasn't the only one.
"I was labeled a rat," said Dr. Christian Head, a top legal official at a VA facility in Los Angeles, who said at one point he was punished by having his salary interrupted, which led to his house going into foreclosure.
"This culture of retaliation, that's really the cancer," Head told lawmakers.
"I can tell you that whistleblowers who shared information with me to take the committee are scared to cooperate," said Scott Davis, who rattled off the names of VA bosses in the Atlanta area that he charged did nothing but punish whistleblowers....
Like others, Davis had been suspended after making internal complaints - investigators later testified that kind of retaliation seemed to be almost standard operating procedure at the VA, with 7-day and 14-day suspensions often handed out to people who make complaints....
Lawmakers also zeroed in on one case that was uncovered by a whistleblower, of a heart doctor in Montgomery, Alabama, who faked medical data for over 1,200 VA patients, but still has a job with the VA.
"How many records do you have to falsify in order to be fired as an employee?" asked Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS).
Investigators confirmed to lawmakers at the hearing that the doctor in question had cut and pasted medical data for 1,241 veterans - meaning the numbers on their charts and in their files were not their own.
"By this person still being employed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, it does give the signal that it's an appropriate thing to do," said Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL), the Chairman of the committee.
This is just sickening that the VA is harming it's employees who are whistleblowers and in turn, are harming the veterans who need VA benefits.
And yet, nothing has happened and no one has been fired.
Welcome to government health care.

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