The VA Does Not Like it When You Hold Them Accountable

Departments of Veteran's Affairs logo
Departments of Veteran's Affairs logo

The Department of Veterans Affairs is not happy when people within the department make them look bad. Of course, if they were as concerned with providing quality care for veterans as they were with managing their reputation, this probably wouldn’t be an issue in the first place…

The Washington Examiner reports:

Dr. Christopher Kirkpatrick, a psychologist at the VA’s Tomah, Wis., clinic, committed suicide after he was fired for asking questions about the overmedication of patients there. The Tomah facility has come to be known as “Candyland” due to a series of allegations that VA physicians prescribed an inordinate amount of opiates to veterans seeking treatment.

… Another VA whistleblower, Joseph Colon, reported to Congress and the agency’s inspector general a number of issues he encountered at a VA facility in Puerto Rico before he was placed under multiple investigations and briefly suspended.

Colon highlighted the fact that some physicians were treating veterans without a medical license and that a doctor had attempted to falsify a patient’s medical records to cover up a mistake in his treatment…Colon’s access to email was inexplicably cut off and his office was moved to a windowless room after he reported the internal wrongdoing.

Apparently, it’s easier to hold a whistleblower accountable for their action than it is to hold a VA employee for their deception and inaction.

Whistle blowers have told their stories of retaliation to the Senate Homeland Security Committee. So the question is (over 1 year later since the VA scandal made national headlines) what is Congress going to do about it?