Washington, DC — Today, Subcommittee on Health Chairman Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) introduced legislation to improve VA’s ability to recruit and retain high-quality healthcare providers and other professionals.
“Ultimately, the people who suffer the most from bureaucratic hiring inefficiencies at VA hospitals are the veterans they are here to serve,” said Chairman Wenstrup. “When attracting highly-qualified candidates is a challenge for Veterans’ Affairs hospitals, access to care, quality of care and wait times for veterans suffer. Streamlining and updating the VA hiring process of doctors and hospital staff is a critical step towards providing our heroes the medical care they have earned and deserve.”
“Ensuring our nation’s heroes receive the best quality health care means ensuring they are treated by the very best providers,” said Phil Roe, Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. “I applaud Rep. Wenstrup for introducing this legislation so that high-quality professionals are encouraged to head to VA for their careers.”
Background provided by Wenstrup’s Office
Providing the top-notch health care and benefits our nation’s veterans deserve is impossible without a strong workforce, and VA’s inability to retain high-quality employees is hindering the quality of care veterans receive. A 2016 Best Places to Work survey ranked the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) second to last for large agencies overall, second to last in effective leadership and dead last in pay. The survey also found that the number of VA employees resigning or retiring has risen every year since 2009.
This bill would establish a recruiting database to make high-quality potential employees aware of positions at VA and create opportunities for career training and advancement for current VA employees through fellowship positions and a promotional track for technical experts. It would also require VA to measure and collect certain information regarding hiring effectiveness and train human resource employees in recruitment and retention methods.