Manchester VA Director, Chief of Staff Removed Pending Investigation

Manchester VA Director, Chief of Staff Removed Pending Investigation

Disturbing accusations from a group of whistleblowers have been brought to light against Manchester's VA Medical Center in a report published by the Boston Globe's Spotlight team.

Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin removed the director and chief of staff at the Manchester VA medical center after a report lambasted the facility for poor care.

The Office of the Special Counsel, a federal whistle-blower agency, found "substantial likelihood" the allegations were true and ordered an investigation, which began in January.

"These are serious allegations, and we want our Veterans and our staff to have confidence in the care we're providing". Jeanne Shaheen, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee - both Democrats - met with VA doctors previous year about their allegations and brought the concerns to the VA's Office of Special Counsel and the Office of the Inspector General for further investigation. The VA Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection was sent to the hospital Monday, the VA said.

Rep. Annie Kuster, a member of the U.S. House Veterans' Affairs Committee, and Sen. They said the hospital was addressing the shortcomings and patient safety hasn't been compromised.

A new report alleges that the care veterans are getting is "dangerously substandard" at the Manchester hospital.

"It's like if you suddenly saw cases of syphilis - a disease that has always been curable with penicillin", Kois said.

"Only in 3rd World countries is it common to see patients end up as disabled from myelopathy as the ones who have been showing up after referral from you", said Dr. Chima Ohaegbulam, of New England Baptist Hospital, to a Manchester VA physician in 2014. The Manchester center provides urgent care, primary care, ambulatory surgery, mental health treatment and other services, but it contracts with Concord Hospital and others for more elaborate surgery and inpatient care.

Sununu said that although he does not have direct jurisdiction over the VA, he is calling for an investigation. "They need to put the resources in to get it done and fix it".