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Congressman Peter DeFazio

Representing the 4th District of OREGON

DeFazio Calls on VA to Immediately Address Urgent Management Issues at Roseburg VA Hospital System

Oct 12, 2017
Press Release
Applauds Passage of Whistleblower Protection Legislation

Rep. Peter DeFazio today blasted the continuing leadership failures within the Veterans Administration (VA) and specifically called on officials to change the management system at the VA Roseburg Health Care System (VARHS).

Rep. DeFazio called for the changes while speaking in support of the Dr. Chris Kirkpatrick Whistleblower Protection Act, legislation that would impose stringent penalties on those who retaliate against whistleblowers and provide greater protections for whistleblowers. The Senate-approved legislation unanimously passed the House today and will now go to the President to be signed into law.

Rep. DeFazio has received dozens of complaints from concerned constituents, many of whom are experienced medical professionals, about the lack of effective and accountable management at the VARHS.

“For years I have received numerous complaints about the substandard management throughout the VARHS, and yet nothing has changed despite repeated outreach to every level of leadership at the Department of Veterans Affairs, including a direct appeal to the Secretary last week,” said Rep. DeFazio. “Poor management has resulted in degraded patient care and difficulty in recruiting and retaining talented medical professionals to help Oregon’s veterans. It’s outrageous that in addition to delays and government bureaucracy veteran care is being hampered by management issues. Doctors, nurses, and other VA employees are putting their careers on the line to improve the system, risking potential retaliation from the same inadequate leadership. The status quo is entirely unacceptable, and it is time for the VA to stop passing the buck and take immediate action. Our veterans deserve better.”

In 2014, the VA surpassed the Department of Defense (DoD) for the total number of whistleblower complaints filed with the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) even though the DoD has almost double the number of civilian employees as the VA. In 2015, the Office of Special Counsel found that 35 percent of all whistleblower complaints were filed by VA employees.

To watch Rep. DeFazio’s floor speech, click here.