You can add this story to your “Only at the VA” file.
Last week, Arizona Senator Jeff Flake introduced legislation that would simply permit the VA to terminate doctors and nurses who have “work-related” felony convictions or whose medical licenses have been revoked or suspended.
What is truly remarkable about this story is that it apparently takes an official Act of Congress for the VA to get rid of doctors and nurses who can no longer practice medicine or nursing or who have been convicted of a felony relating to their jobs.
Think about that. A VA doctor may lose their medical license for medical malpractice, but the VA can’t fire them for it. A nurse could be convicted of selling opiates stolen from a VA hospital, but again the VA is apparently powerless to get rid of them.
There have been some reports of VA facilities employing medical providers convicted of sex offenses, armed robbery, and embezzlement. Senator Flake summed up the need for this legislation pretty succinctly: “If Congress wants to see improvements at the VA, it needs to put an end to the carousel of criminals passing through its doors.”
Let’s hope this commonsense legislation gets passed quickly.