NEWS FROM THE
RANKING REPUBLICAN MEMBER
COMMITTEE ON VETERANS' AFFAIRS
Steve Buyer, Ranking Member, 333 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515
IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 20, 2007, Jeff Phillips (202) 288-9559
Veterans' Health Subcommittee Ranking Member Miller expects overhaul of Walter Reed outpatient management
Washington D.C. - House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Subcommittee on Health Ranking Member Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) made the following statement in connection with media reporting that indicated gross weaknesses in the U.S. Army's management of outpatient care associated with Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
If reporting in the recent Washington Post series is even close to accurate, the Army's apparent mismanagement of its outpatient care program is an embarrassment that demands immediate resolution. The fact that the Army has not staffed recovery facilities with sufficient case management professionals, such as psychiatric social workers and others familiar with coordinating benefits programs, is beyond belief.
The neglect being experienced by some wounded servicemembers is outrageous. I hold the senior officers at Walter Reed personally responsible for this fiasco. While the medical staff at Walter Reed work miracles every day, quality care does not end there. Those in charge of outpatient care must be held accountable by the Army.
The Defense Department is never shy about asking for supplemental funds for operations and equipment; I cannot imagine why housing for recuperating wounded would not be a similarly high priority."
Reacting to reports that a senior Walter Reed staff member may have mixed a personal project with their official capacity in managing outpatient services, Miller said, "Given the needs of these severely wounded men and women, I cannot conceive of anyone at Walter Reed having time to spare for outside business, regardless of the intent. At best, it smacks of a conflict of interest and the Army must ensure that employees devote their working hours to caring for the wounded -- at Walter Reed and any other medical facility hosting recuperating wounded warriors."
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