Good News: VA Now Tracking Wait Times, Firing Bad Employees

Cortney O'Brien
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Posted: Apr 13, 2017 9:30 AM
Good News: VA Now Tracking Wait Times, Firing Bad Employees

Veterans will now have the opportunity to check wait times at the 1,700 Veterans Affairs facilities across the country. The agency, under the direction of new VA Secretary David Shulkin, has just launched a website called www.accesstocare.va.gov which allows vets to track their place in line.

The site will allow veterans to see wait times at local VA facilities and reviews of primary and specialty care appointments.

The tool is meant to increase the department's accountability to the public and "ensures VA is held to a higher standard," according to a departmental statement.

The new website is a must for the VA. The unforgivably long wait times at too many VA centers has plagued the agency and placed veterans in danger. At a Phoenix facility, veterans had to wait for care an average of 115 days.

The VA is also taking concrete steps of draining the swamp of bad employees. Under current law, some clinics' hands are tied over VA employees who engage in nefarious behavior. For instance, an employee in Houston who watched porn in front of patients was still allowed to keep his desk job for at least 30 days.

It seems Shulkin is done with delays. Shortly after an Office of Inspector General report found unsanitary conditions and inadequate equipment at a D.C. medical center, the director of the facility was promptly fired.

Both of these efforts are positive steps for needed VA reform.