Video Available: In Advance of Veterans Day, Rounds, Colleagues Introduce New Legislation to Improve Staffing at VA Health Centers

WASHINGTON– U.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), along with Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), today held a press conference in the U.S. Capitol to announce the introduction of the Veterans Health Care Staffing Improvement Act, bipartisan legislation to make common-sense changes in staffing policies at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and improve veterans care at VA health care facilities.

“It is our duty to make certain our veterans receive the care and support they have been promised,” said Rounds. “As a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, I am committed to making improvements at the VA to benefit veterans and cut down on the red-tape our vets have to go through to get the health care benefits they were promised. The Veterans Health Care Staffing Improvement Act will let veterans receive health care closer to home by removing bureaucratic barriers for their providers.”

At many VA health centers around the country, veterans face wait times of weeks or even months for an appointment. These severe roadblocks to providing timely and quality health care to veterans stem in part from a shortfall of tens of thousands of medical staff. The Veterans Health Care Staffing Improvement Act would reduce bureaucratic obstacles to make it easier for the VA to boost staffing at VA health centers and reduce wait times.

The legislation would make it easier for service members who have served in medical roles to transfer directly into the VA system, make it easier to transfer or share medical staff and services across VA facilities, and allow Advanced Practice Registered Nurses and Physicians Assistants to provide a wider range of health care to patients, helping expand care in rural areas. 

Video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWHPWl-Xk-k