U.S. Rep. John Rutherford, R-Fla., wants answers why the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is hiring unqualified medical personnel.
The First Coast Republican pointed to a story in USA Today which found the VA was hiring medical providers who have been committed malpractice and even sexual misconduct. According to Rutherford’s office, “current law prohibits the VA from hiring providers who have had their license revoked in any state to ensure quality care for veterans, yet reports show professional standards boards clearing the hiring doctors with histories of malpractice and sexual misconduct.”
Rutherford also noted that a recent report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) which found the VA failed to report on doctors who committed malpractice.
“I am appalled that the VA has hired felons, sexual predators, and medical providers with revoked licensures,” Rutherford said on Monday. “Not only does this malfeasance put our veterans in serious medical danger, but this astonishing mismanagement of the vetting process subjects veterans to pain and harm that is completely unacceptable. While I recognize that the VA is taking action to remove these unfit providers from the system, they must do more to prevent this illegal activity from ever occurring again. Most VA employees share our commitment to ensuring our nation’s veterans receive the highest quality care possible, and we must work with them to remove all bad actors so the VA can fulfill its critically important mission of faithfully serving our nation’s heroes.”
On Monday, Rutherford sent U.S. VA Sec. David Shulkin a letter to push him on the matter and rounded up almost 30 other members of Congress to sign it, asking the VA for answers on how to rectify the problem. Florida Republican U.S. Reps. Ron DeSantis, Neal Dunn, Tom Rooney and Ted Yoho and Florida Democrat U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist signed the letter.