This is plausible after USA Today conduced an investigation of their own only to find many physicians working for the VA had past medical malpractice claims filed against them or had their license revoked.
When a doctor is accused of medical malpractice, it generally means a patient or a relative of a patient is accusing them of failing to provide the standard level of care they would have received had they gone to the same type of doctor or facility. When a physician fails to provide the standard level of care, it could mean they make a mistake during a procedure or failed to provide a patient with certain treatment despite the symptoms they were showing. The fact is, medical malpractice accusations can range from a doctor making mild mistakes to more severe ones that can cost a patient their life. And while not all of the medical malpractice lawsuits that are filed are legitimate, a significant amount of them are.
Unfortunately, many of the physicians who are accused and even charged with medical malpractice still find a way to stay in practice and keep their license only to go on and harm another individual. And it appears many of these physicians might be working for the VA.
According to an investigation conducted by USA Today, the Department of Veteran Affairs has allowed hospitals across the country to hire health care providers with revoked medical licenses for at least 15 years in violation of federal law.” USA Today reported that the “VA issued national guidelines in 2002 giving local hospitals discretion to hire clinicians after “prior consideration of all relevant facts surrounding any revocation and as long as they still had a license in one state.” This, however, “goes against a federal law that was passed in 1999 that barred the VA from employing any health care worker whose license had been yanked by any state.”
Now, on the VA’s website, it states that doctors like working for the government agency for many reasons, some that include:
- Doctors have the “freedom to practice medicine and focus on the patient without the distractions of running a business.”
- VA doctors “do not have the ‘overhead’ of running an individual or group medical practice.
- VA physicians don’t have to worry about “[building] a patient base to create revenue.”
- VA doctors can provide most patients with a 30-minute visit compared to the 20-minute visits most doctors provide outside of the VA.
However, based on the findings mentioned above, perhaps there are other reasons why doctors choose to seek employment with the VA.
Now, although VA Secretary David Shulkin said that he “ordered the rewriting of the guidelines and launched a nationwide review to identify and remove any other healthcare workers with revoked licenses,” it doesn’t mean there aren’t doctors who have managed to slip through the cracks. Aside from worrying about physicians providing treatment with revoked licenses, Shulkin also stated that a review of current physicians would be conducted on those who have prior sanctions against their medical licenses short of revocation” to ensure they are providing quality care to veterans at the VA.” Essentially, that means someone with a medical malpractice claim filed against them can still be caring for patients who seek medical attention from a VA clinic.
Therefore, based on the findings mentioned above, it essential that you do your homework before choosing a physician or surgeon to treat you or perform a procedure on you so that you reduce your chances of becoming the next medical malpractice victim. In the event you already have received treatment from a health care worker in Lafayette, LA who wasn’t properly licensed or made a medical mistake, you are urged to contact a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. USAttorneys.com can connect you with the best medical malpractice lawyers in Lafayette, LA now who can aid you in taking the appropriate form of action so that the healthcare provider is held accountable for their negligence.