3 Arizona GOP congressmen question VA about health care staff shortages
PHOENIX – Three Arizona Republican congressmen say Phoenix-area Veterans Affairs health care facilities are facing “deeply troubling” staff shortages, and they want to know what’s being done about it.
Reps. Andy Biggs, Paul Gosar and David Schweikert sent a letter Tuesday to VA Secretary Denis McDonough requesting information about how the agency is responding to the situation.
The letter says VA facilities in greater Phoenix currently have 19 primary care vacancies and 58 vacancies for mental health providers.
“The vacancy rate is deeply troubling,” the letter says. “These positions should be filled immediately so that veterans in Arizona are able to access the care they need.
“And until the positions are filled, veterans should be allowed to access care from community care providers.”
The letter questions McDonough about what the VA is doing to fill the openings, whether veterans can get care at community providers when they can’t get VA access, and how the VA is letting patients know about their options.
The Republican trio wants McDonough to respond to their inquiry by June 24.