VAMC Altoona Refused to Face Its Problems
Nearly everyone has heard about the problems at VA Hospitals. For the past ten years, it seems as if there is a new story about wait times, fraudulent record keeping, malpractice, or covering for bad doctors. We should be immune to it by now. But, as a veteran and an attorney representing veterans, some of these stories continue to anger me.
The James E. Van Zandt VA Medical Center in Altoona is the subject of multiple open investigations by a variety of organizations, up to and including the United States House of Representatives. If the hospital leadership truly cared about making things better, they would cooperate fully. When I make a mistake, I, like most people, want to know how to fix it and make sure it doesn’t happen again. But that does not seem to be the hospital’s attitude.
Instead of cooperating, they have specifically instructed their employees NOT to cooperate at all and not to speak with any investigators. They have even instructed their employees not to comply with subpoenas—which have the full force of law behind them.
There are those who think the VA is simply too large to be fixed. I think that as long as people continue to speak out against practices such as these, all veteran will be better off.