Some members of Congress have begun discussing solutions for recruitment and retention problems with health care professionals that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is facing. At an October 18 hearing before the House Committee on Veterans Affairs' Subcommittee on Health, representatives learned how workforce shortages, compounded by a soaring number of patients, are straining the VA health system. The number of unique patients treated in a VA facility has increased since 2001 by 34% to more than 3.5 million in 2006, and VA outpatient clinics get almost 60 million visits a year.
Mitka M. Boosting VA Clinician Supply. JAMA. 2007;298(22):2611. doi:10.1001/jama.298.22.2611-c