Two thousand medical residency positions at Veterans Affairs Department hospitals would be created under legislation introduced by three Democratic members of Congress.
Reps. Dina Titus (Nev.), Mark Takano (Calif.) and Beto O’Rourke (Tex.) said their “Underserved Veterans Access to Health Care Act” would increase the availability of timely care for veterans, particularly in areas with physician shortages.
Long waiting times for veterans and attempts to cover-up waiting lists led to an ongoing scandal at the VA that resulted in the resignation of the VA secretary and continuing hearings in Congress.
“The VA’s recent internal audit of scheduling practices at VA health facilities found that the number one barrier to providing veterans with timely access to care is the lack of providers available to see patients,” said a statement announcing the legislation.
The bill “will help meet an immediate need in the VA system and take a step toward addressing the long-term, nationwide physician shortage,” Titus said.
“We know that the shortage of physicians at our VA facilities plays a large part in the long wait times our veterans are forced to endure,” Takano added.
“When we have a crisis in access to care we should take steps like these to address it,” said O’Rourke.