VHA Shortages Create a Gloomy Future for Veterans

We’re supposed to be taking care of our veterans. After all, they helped to fight for our freedom time and again. Yet, when there are Democrats in power, it always seems like they cut from the same places – the military and the veteran budget lines.

The Veteran Health Administration (VHA) is facing “severe” shortages in the areas of nursing and clinical psychiatry according to a recent report by the VA Inspector General. Although the VA has been working to hire as many people as possible, shortages are still abundant.

The report highlights an even more troubling issue. 90 percent of the facilities are short of the medical officers that they need. There are also many that are short of occupational staffing, nurses, and more.

What does this mean for veterans?

Long waits in order to get appointments that are needed for their physical and mental health.

Long waits once they get into the facility.

Referrals to go see doctors outside of the VA system.

This is problematic for veterans. Many rely on VHA as their sole form of medical coverage. When they have to wait three to four months to be seen by a doctor, problems only get worse. When they have to be referred to other doctors outside of the VA system, they don’t get effective care because the doctors don’t have their full medical history.

Welcome to Biden’s America. Joe Biden promised that he would care for veterans. He promised that because he was the father of veterans, he understood. However, his promises to take care of veterans were just as empty as every other promise that he made during his campaign.

The report published by the VHA is required on an annual basis by the VA Choice and Quality Employment Act of 2017. While the shortage in staffing is severe, the report also acknowledges that there have been a number of strides by the VA to fill the vacancies.

The number of vacancies for the fiscal year 2021 is over 2,000 – though the federal government is patting itself on the back because it’s better than the number of vacancies reported in the fiscal year 2018 (over 3,000).

Only the government would be proud of having only 2,000 vacancies. Especially when it concerns the care for veterans, they should be ashamed of themselves.

There have been countless reports by mainstream media of how veterans struggle to get the care they need from the VA. Claims are denied. Care is limited. And appointment times are hard to come by.

VA Secretary Denis McDonough is aware of the problem. When he spoke to Military Times, he explained, “We’re taking a very hard look at how it is that we can be part of the solution and ensuring that the country, which is experiencing a strategic shortage of counseling counselors, social workers, therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, how can we do our part to grow that number? So those are some of the things that we can, will, and indeed are doing.”

McDonough goes on to acknowledge that suicide is both preventable and requires a comprehensive public health effort. His goal is to ensure that the VA does a better job to get veterans in the care. Those who are in the care of the VA do better than those who are left to their own devices.

Well, at least there’s a plan. Now, if someone could just tell the Dems not to cut the budget that’s supposed to help veterans, that would be great.