The current state of veteran’s healthcare in the United States, while better than it was in the recent past, is still lacking and needs improvement. Two big issues that are still plaguing the VA Healthcare system are access to healthcare and accountability for employees. First, veterans all around the country are having problems getting the care that they need in a timely manner. Whether it be because veterans are in a high populous area where the wait times are extraordinarily long. Or, veterans live so far out that the closest VA to them is 5 plus hours away.
Either way, VA choice needs to be enacted, at least for the short term, in order for veterans, no matter their location, can get the healthcare that they need. If time and distance standards are not met at the VA, VA choice would allow veterans to choose their healthcare provider or the VA will get you an appointment a healthcare provider that is close and can see you in a timely manner. Second, within the VA is the personnel and management failures and lack of accountability.
Next, Management and personnel are not held to a proper standard of accountability. Managers are not holding employees accountable for the mistakes, negligence, or lack of care. While everyone makes mistakes, when it comes to the health, safety and care of patients. Employees need to be held accountable so that they and others do not make the same mistakes. Negligence should likewise never be taken lightly when lives are on the line and there needs to be accountability standards enacted to make sure these kinds of things stop being swept under the rug. One way to make sure there is accountability is for a survey to be given out to veterans after they have been seen. The surveys could be looked over by someone other than the immediate supervisor/leadership.
Management also needs to be held accountable for their actions as well. The leadership within the VA is toxic to say the least and morale within is lacking because of it. The employees know that the high up leadership looks out for management and ignores complaints from employees as well as other toxic traits such as nepotism. This creates a large rift between workers which lowers morale and opens up paths to poor work. One of the main reasons for all of the accountability issues is that it is very hard to be fired.
The VA needs a system that holds every level of employee equally accountable for their actions and be allowed to fire negligent and toxic employees. The Government needs to resolve the toxic leadership within the VA as well as enact accountability for every employee. Boosting morale is not just about the workers being happy but, if the workers are in high spirits, they are more likely to give better care and make less mistakes.