A doctor who works at a VA Clinic in Sarasota, FL was asked: “What is it like working for the Veterans Administration?” The doctor answered, “Its like working the the post office. I deliver medicine, I don’t practice medicine.” The latest scandal involving the Veterans Administration is an indicator of how this single-payer healthcare system is working. The scandal started at the VA in Phoenix, AZ.
Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs Sloan Gibson on Thursday, June 5, 2014, said 18 veterans died while waiting for appointments with the Phoenix VA Health Care System the Arizona Republic reported. A contrary Gibson was shocked and dismayed at this tragic loss of life.
Dennis Wagner of USA Today reports, “During a news conference Thursday at the Carl T. Hayden Medical Center in Phoenix, where the VA medical scandal erupted, Gibson also disclosed that at least 18 Arizona veterans died while awaiting doctor appointments, though it remains unclear whether the delayed care is to blame for those fatalities.”
The question is did Acting Secretary Gibson know that the doctors and staff at the Phoenix VA Health Care System are among the highest paid? OpenTheBooks.com lists salaries for all employees of the Phoenix VA Health Care System. The top five salaries at the Phoenix VA Health Care System are: George J. Swartz $357,258, Harold G. Dossett $350,504, Raymond J. Joehl $331,534, Richard A. Lopchinsky $316,939 and Danny B. Kilpatrick $313,325. The total of the top five salaries at the Phoenix VA is $1,669,560.
OpenTheBooks.com also lists the bonuses awarded to employees. For the Phoenix VA Health Care System the 2013 bonuses totaled $337,885.
Wagner writes, “Investigators have determined that more than 100,000 veterans nationwide were kept off waiting lists for medical appointments, and Acting Veterans Affairs Secretary Sloan Gibson said the nation will learn Monday how many patients were relegated to ‘secret lists’… Gibson emphasized the embattled agency is working to mend the ‘massive erosion of trust’ among veterans due to the failures exposed in the nationwide VA health care scandal. He said the VA would take important steps next week to ‘improve communication, openness and transparency’…”
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