According to a recent statement by Sloan Gibson, the Acting VA Secretary, Veteran Affairs wishes to be nothing but transparent and accountable to the veterans in the nation in need of care. In Gibson’s opinion, veterans should be able to trust their system for health care. However, according to an article recently completed by Guampdn, one VA official appears to not be living up to Gibson’s mandate.
Guam’s Community-Based Outpatient Clinic is under the command of the Honolulu Veteran Affairs; overseeing the clinic is Wayne Pfeffer, the medical director of the VA Pacific Highlands Health Care System. Pfeffer released a statement recently that was very vague in assessing and declaring the state of affairs for the VA clinic. In the statement, Pfeffer claims that the Guam clinic appears to have no issue with excessive wait times. However, Pfeffer’s statement did not provide any facts or statistics to back this claim up.
According to the article, this is information that Pfeffer should have and be able to relay to the general public. Veteran Affairs has mandated each clinic report figures for a bi-monthly data update to track improvements and continued shortcomings of the clinics across the nation. If Pfeffer is fulfilling his obligations to the VA, this information should be collected regularly and be on hand for comments such as the one Pfeffer released earlier this month.
The question then becomes what the cause is behind this vague statement. Does Pfeffer have these statistics, and is simply displeased with the findings? If this is the case, he could purposely be choosing to hide the information from veterans and the general public. If, however, he does not have this information on hand, he is not fulfilling his duties by the standards set forth by officials serving the Veteran Affairs clinics and organizations. Either way, it is clear that Pfeffer is not fulfilling the edict of Gibson, as his vague and misleading comments have only sprouted distrust and worry, not comfort, reassurance and trust. If Pfeffer cannot be upfront and transparent in his statements on the state of affairs of the Guam clinic, he will be seen as anything other than accountable.