As legislation set to make purging the troubled Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) of bad employees easier gets implemented, whistleblowers continue to call out the department for the shoddy condition at many of its facilities.
A patient at a VA facility in Phoenix spoke out last week about the hospital’s cockroach problem, which is a common side effect of the substandard care the Department has offered in recent years. According to Fox 10 in Phoenix, a patient, who wished to remain anonymous out of fear of retaliation, recorded a video of the bugs and sent it to the news station.
The VA has been embroiled in numerous scandals over the past several years. Some of the more serious cases that have come forward are those of doctored waiting lists for patients in need, whereby certain veterans with connections didn’t have to wait their turn for scarce medical treatment when the hospitals in question falsified waiting records.
The department has also had issues with undesirable employees, which prompted Congress’ passage of the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act earlier this year, the only legislation signed into law under the Trump administration, thus far.
Patients have noticed cockroaches roaming freely at the Phoenix VA facility for a while, but are reportedly used to the drab conditions.
“I know they’ve had infestation problems for years,” said Brandon Coleman in a phone interview. Coleman, a former Marine, is a whistleblower and employee for the Phoenix VA. He said many patients don’t report the infestation to managers because they’re apathetic to the problem.
“They’re used to it,” said Coleman. “They’re used to substandard care. I think veterans feel lucky just to get an appointment, with the secret wait list going on in Phoenix. A roach is no big deal.”
Hopefully, as the legislation passed this year takes effect, stories of incompetence will dwindle.
“I’m grateful to the whistleblower who came forward, and, hopefully, … they’ll make sure there aren’t any roaches for our nation’s heroes because that’s disgusting,” said Coleman.
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