Veterans Affairs launches review of Manchester medical center after poor care allegations

Danielle Ocker has been removed as director of the Manchester VA Medical Center pending a review of allegations made in The Boston Globe

VA announces immediate actions at Manchester VA Medical Center

Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, MD, on Sunday ordered the removal of the top two officials at Manchester (N.H.) VA Medical Center and called for a thorough investigation of the facility, reports The Boston Globe.

A group of 11 whistleblowers, including some physicians and other medical personnel, contacted the federal government and the Boston Globe with complaints of risky conditions, the newspaper reported Sunday.

"These are serious allegations, and we want our Veterans and our staff to have confidence in the care we're providing".

According to a press release sent by Shulkin's office, the director and chief of staff of the Manchester VA have been removed from their positions pending an investigation.

"Ratings can deceive. Inside the unassuming red-brick walls of the Manchester medical center is ground zero for an extraordinary rebellion led by doctors who say they have nearly no say in how the hospital is run, lack tools to do their jobs, and witness chronic shortcomings in patient care".

Gov. Chris Sununu said in a statement he'd spoken with Shulkin and said he was "encouraged by his willingness to address these troublesome allegations quickly".

The newspaper's "Spotlight" investigative team detailed complaints from doctors who say they don't have the proper equipment to treat patients.

Sen. Maggie Hassan said in a statement that "the poor conditions and quality of care alleged by whistle-blowers at the Manchester VA are completely unacceptable".

You can access the full story here on the Globe website (limited access without subscription).

Immediately on Monday, the VA Office of the Medical Inspector and the VA Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection are moving in to conduct an extensive review of the facility to examine all topics brought up in the Boston Globe piece.

The VA said the director of the VA Medical Center in White River Junction, Vermont, will serve as the new director of the Manchester VA. "I have been clear about the importance of transparency, accountability and rapidly fixing any and all problems brought to our attention, and we will do so immediately with these allegations".

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