Veterans Affairs launches review of Manchester medical center after poor care allegations

VA announces immediate actions at Manchester VA Medical Center

VA announces immediate actions at Manchester VA Medical Center

Disturbing accusations from a group of whistleblowers have been brought to light against Manchester's VA Medical Center in a report published by the Boston Globe's Spotlight team.

The US Secretary of Veterans Affairs, David J. Shulkin, has removed the two top officials at the Manchester Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

The U.S. Office of the Special Counsel had already been investigating the hospital and found a "substantial likelihood" of a danger to public health, according to the news report.

"These are serious allegations, and we want our Veterans and our staff to have confidence in the care we're providing".

Alfred Montoya, the director of the VAMC in White River Junction, Vermont, will serve as the new director of the Manchester VAMC and the new chief of staff will be announced shortly.

The VA Office of the Medical Inspector and the VA Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection will start their review Monday. I appreciate the seriousness with which Secretary Shulkin is taking this matter, and I will continue to monitor the investigation closely and provide assistance through the House VA Committee. As a result, the hospital stopped offering nuclear stress tests for heart disease risk and bone scans that can detect tumors this year.

Many doctors inside the Manchester VA say they have zero control over how things at the facility are run and are often not given the tools needed to do their jobs. The Veterans Choice Program, which allows patients to seek care in the private sector, "has broken down" there, the report said, and thousands of veterans have been unable to schedule appointments. He said the condition is easy to diagnose and treat with surgery before it progresses too far. It ordered an investigation by the VA Office of Medical Inspector, which began in January.

"Only in 3rd World countries is it common to see patients end up as disabled from myelopathy as the ones who have been showing up after referral from you", said Dr. Chima Ohaegbulam, of New England Baptist Hospital, to a Manchester VA physician in 2014.

"They need to put their money where their mouth is", he said.

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