VA Secretary Turfs Manchester Medical Center Director After Abysmal Report

Eloi Lecerf
Julho 17, 2017

Dr. Shulkin's orders came just a few hours after The Globe published a Spotlight Team report highlighting serious patient safety and clinical quality issues at the hospital.

On Sunday, U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin announced immediate action, including staffing changes.

The Office of the Special Counsel, a federal whistle-blower agency, found "substantial likelihood" the allegations were true and ordered an investigation, which began in January.

"We owe it to the American taxpayer to apply as much of our funding as possible to helping veterans. we need to move rapidly to bring savings to taxpayers", Shulkin said in the Examiner's report.

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Following the newspaper report Sunday, Shulkin removed hospital Director Danielle Ocker and Chief of Staff James Schlosser. Jeanne Shaheen, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee - both Democrats - met with VA doctors past year about their allegations and brought the concerns to the VA's Office of Special Counsel and the Office of the Inspector General for further investigation. Shulkin also said the VA Office of the Medical Inspector and the VA Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection were starting a "top-to-bottom review" of the hospital, beginning Monday. As a member of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee, I brought these concerns to the Office of the Inspector General.

"Ratings can deceive. Inside the unassuming red-brick walls of the Manchester medical center is ground zero for an extraordinary rebellion led by doctors who say they have nearly no say in how the hospital is run, lack tools to do their jobs, and witness chronic shortcomings in patient care". He said the condition is easy to diagnose and treat with surgery before it progresses too far.

Sununu said that although he does not have direct jurisdiction over the VA, he is calling for an investigation.

According to VA documents from December, the Manchester VA Medical Center, the only VA hospital in New Hampshire, was given four stars on a five-star rating system that compares VA hospitals nationwide.

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