VA Secretary Robert MacDonald Defends VA — Right On!
Please read this ABC report carefully. Republicans in Congress are waging an unrelentless attack on the VA, arguing that more people should be fired. The rights of VA employees are already being abrogated, which does not help recruitment of needed doctors, nurses and other personnel. But Congress seems to have only one way of dealing with problems in the VHA — and that is punitive. I have spent almost two years visiting and observing Veterans Health Administration facilities all over the country and the care they I see is almost always stellar. For the past two days I have been attending a Human Centered Design Workshop at the San Francisco VA Medical Center. The VA has recruited national experts on HCD from the LAB OPM (Office of Personnel Management) who are delivering workshops at VHA’s all over the country to facilitate change and innovation in the system. Our group of about 15 people includes nationwide staff working on exciting projects in their facilities– like one to enhance the role of the voices of patients and families in the VHA. This is part of a larger program on innovation that is being funded by the VA and piloted at eight different VHA sites that are working on programs that will soon go national.
So MacDonald is right. You cannot fire your way to excellence. We have to allow the VA to do the work it has embarked on to remedy its problems and continue its excellent work, which, when it comes to private sector healthcare, is actually better, in many cases, than the care that is delivered in the private sector.