It’s 100% unacceptable for there to be such dysfunctional leadership occurring in VA system. The agencies dynamics are controlled by Congress and VA agency leadership, plenty of people to control the 22% (10% women & 90% men) of Americans that are classified as veterans remembering not all veterans use VA facilities.
VA Community-Based Outpatient Clinics – 820
VA Vet Centers – 300
VA Hospitals – 150
VA National Cemeteries – 131
Veterans Benefits Administration Regional Offices – 56
That’s ONLY 3,126 leaders with direct report up to the top guy Retired U.S. Army General Eric K. Shinseki and entire staff in the agency. The VA only employs approximately 280,000 people and in 2012 the budget was $132 billion and in 2014 the budget request is $152.7 billion. The agency would be considered a large organization but not unmanageable with the right people and processes in place. Retired U.S. Army General Eric K. Shinseki background indicates he should be able to handle this in his sleep and if he can’t figure it out there are plenty of ‘leaders’ that can.
I’ve had the pleasure of working with some great leaders who understand that although this is a big job, it’s nothing that a team of highly ethical leaders can’t handle. The VA system needs to be run as a business, a medical care system and it a National obligation to serve Americans that were willing to sacrifice their lives. Understanding the cost of Freedom is not hard; it just requires highly ethical leadership to do what is right. An outside firm needs to be hired to do an intensive investigation—and Congress cannot be trusted with this. Bottom-line: dysfunctional leaders in charge of failed VA facilities + the General need to be walked out the door and FIRED!