On his first full work day as acting VA secretary, Sloan Gibson was quick to address scheduling issues within the VA healthcare system. Gibson vowed to get Veterans into clinics, and put an end to misconduct within the VA’s healthcare system.
“VA’s first priority is to get all Veterans off waiting lists and into clinics while we address the underlying issues that have been impeding Veterans’ access to healthcare,” Gibson said in a statement released on June 2. “The president has made clear that this is his expectation.”
The statement contained an admission that Veterans were not getting the care and support that they deserve from the VA healthcare system. The acting VA head said that in order to improve VA healthcare, his agency will work with, “Veterans Service Organizations, members of Congress, academia, public and private organizations, and with all other agencies and institutions that can help us move forward.”
Gibson only recently joined the VA in February as a Deputy Secretary, after being nominated for the position last September. President Obama placed Gibson in the role as acting VA secretary while a permanent replacement for Eric Shinseki can be found. Shinseki resigned on Friday May 30, 2014, amid allegations of widespread misconduct within the VA healthcare system. Not wishing to make his presence a distraction from the real issues, Shinseki resigned.
Now Gibson, an Army Veteran, career banker and former head of the United Service Organizations (USO), will hopefully be able to address concerns within the VA, without the mob mentality that besieged his embattled predecessor.
If Gibson is successful in improving Veteran healthcare and correcting the unforgivable behaviors that were exhibited by some VA staffers, it could bode well for Gibson’s consideration for a permanent appointment.
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