Veteran Affairs hospitals have been offering tremendous medical support to veterans. Many specialists claimed that the programs here are outperforming the ones that the private sector offers. However, this medium might hide its own irregularities. The network of institutions is currently under serious investigations. Authorities suspect that employees are responsible for numerous drug thefts.
Employees from More Than 1160 VA Locations Are Suspected of Drug Thefts
The Association Press summoned the Freedom of Information Act to gather data across the network of VA hospitals. According to them, the drug thefts that happen within these institutions reached double the volume of that from the private sector.
Over the period between October 1 and May 19, there were a total of 36 cases filed by the office of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Since then, such cases continued to rise in numbers until the present day. Unfortunately, there are numerous medical specialists whose names are mentioned in these lawsuits. More exactly, there are more than 160 medical centers and 1,000 clinics across the United States where some members of the staff are suspected of extracting drugs from their workplace.
These drug thefts end up serving personal interests. Not only that, but the illegally extracted medication can reach the streets. In the end, patients may end up suffering because of lack of required medical care. At the moment, there are 108 of ongoing criminal cases in regards to unauthorized extraction of drugs.
Medical Staff Cover Their Tracks by Administrating Less Medication than Prescribed
One of the most notorious cases concerned a nurse who worked at a VA hospital in Richmond, Virginia. She received criminal charges after she confessed that she used to steal fentanyl patches and oxycodone tablets from local dispensers. The method she employed to hide her tracks was administering fewer drugs to her patients than their prescriptions required. Afterward, she consumed the rests herself to support her addiction.
The VA announced at the beginning of this year that the officials recognized the magnitude of this issue and they plan to address it. Some of the applied strategies include drug tests for their employees and more inspection visits than before.
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