VA Seeks to Improve Infrastructure and Operational Efficiency
The Department of Veterans Affairs will hold a hearing Thursday on innovative care delivery and how to improve infrastructure and operational efficiency.
“VA’s aging infrastructure not only causes many veterans to wait too long and travel too far for care, but also potentially endangers [the] health and lives of veteran patients and VA personnel,” said Pat Murray, Director of National Legislative Service Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, in a written statement.
Murray, who will testify as a witness Thursday, recommends the VA’s construction budget should be, at minimum, 3% of its overall operating budget to keep up with a growing backlog of long-standing issues in areas like budgeting, planning, management and oversight reforms.
“VA has identified approximately [$7 billion] of necessary corrections,” said Murray.
Murray also recommends Congress eliminate the sunset date on the Communities Helping Invest through Property and Improvements Needed for Veterans Act.
The program allows the VA to accept donated facilities when an opportunity arises.
On April 6, 2021, the VA North Texas Health Care System announced it would transfer a facility to serve as an outpatient and specialty care clinic for some of the 184,000 North Texas veterans enrolled in VA health care.
According to Murray, the donation of the hospital will save the VA system hundreds of millions of dollars, with estimates to build a new hospital exceeding $800 million.
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