by Andrey_Popov shutterstock ID 248796937 Office Chair With A Vacant Sign At Work Place

Many VA health care positions remain vacant

There are nearly 49,000 empty health care positions within Department of Veterans Affairs, and union officials say the vacancies are “unconscionable” and part of a concerted effort by the Trump administration to drain resources from the agency, Military Times reports.

According to the report, even with just under 12 percent of the 420,000-plus jobs unfilled at the agency, department officials say the vacancy rate is normal, and that they've had a net increase of more than 3,000 employees last quarter.

Union officials contend that the administration has been slow to fill the vacancies—which are an important factor in reducing wait times and appointment backlogs throughout the system—while at the same time has been pushing for new rules covering medical appointments at private-sector hospitals, the article notes, adding that Democrats in Congress have promised to address the hiring issue in coming months, and new employee recruitment is also expected to grow within the year.

Reader comments

Tue, May 28, 2019

Just turn health care over too TRICARE and they would not have to worry about vacant slots. Vet would get fair better care. I work for VA in DC and as far as being dedicated thats a joke. The Wash DC vet hospital is nothing but a peyton place.

Fri, Mar 1, 2019

VA hiring process is run by inept individuals like the rest of the federal government. Hiring process is mainly friends and social buddies hiring each other, having the personnel office cater and write the friends job description, not examining the real back grounds of the people employed by checking exactly what they indicate their qualifications and management experience. Many managers are hired with bogus credentials at high grades at the expense of hard working long term employees who have no opportunity for advancement. The personnel office then spews phony regulations that hinder in house promotions unless of course one is a social or drinking buddy of the director or other senior minion management. If the situation wants to be improved hire credible accountable people who will work hard to maintain the quality of health care for our veterans. This means reducing the number of inept management bloat and have a level hiring playing field open to every qualified candidate. By the way age and gender discrimination is rampant and no one does anything about this than talk a bunch of hot air and make overworked employees watch videos of how EEO and gender bias is not supposedly tolerated but in reality managers promote such barriers in the work place. Drain the swamp and purge management minions. The nation will be much better off in the short and long term.

Tue, Feb 26, 2019

Just turn the health care over to Tricare. If you hired 80,000 it wouldn't be enough to many are lazy.

Mon, Feb 25, 2019

Of course the union officials find the vacancies unacceptable, and the new rules for veterans to use private healthcare a threat. What is best for the veteran that needs care? Both! A veteran should be able to decide where to go to get care, and the VA should have the resources it needs to provide that care. The union will just have to stop fighting what is the right thing for veterans!

Mon, Feb 25, 2019

The press has given,and continue to give negative comments about the Department of Veteran Affairs. It is hard to hire good people when they read about the comments I worked for the VA for 42 years. You will not find more dedicated, motivated and skilled people anywhere.

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Mike Causey Columnist
Mathew B. Tully Legal Analyst

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