The Stars and Stripes-The National Tribune, Volume 100, Number 22, June 2, 1977 Page: 1 of 20
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Dependents IO6LL X '
edoStals )( 1
ThE ONLY NATIONAL VFTERANS' NEWSPAPER
WASHINGTON, DC, THURSDAY, JUNE 2, 1977
WarninfTo VA: It's Time To Give Universities Rule Congressmen Ask leland lo Take
The national magazine of the
American Federation of Govern-
ment Employees [AFGE], Go-
vernment Standard, has published
a blistering attack against medical
school takeovers of VA hospitals,
which, it states, has been harmful
tI patients and has resulted in
transferring or firing VA hospital
specialists and stacking the hos-
pitals with physicians who owe
primary allegiance to the medical
AFGE is the largest governmen-
tal union and The Government
Standard has been publishing an
ongoing account of the undue influ-
ence which medical schools exert
over VA personnel policies and
practices which are harmful to
The Stars and Stripes is printing
in its entirety the most recent
AFGE article on this subject.]
By Jeannette Abrams
The Government Standard
American Federation of
This statement--made by a long-
time employee of the Veterans
Administration hospital system--
echoes the sentiments and fears of
many, who in recent years have
watched quality patient care give
sway to.the priorities of affiliated
teaching medical schools.
The simple fact is that the VA
Central Office in Washington, D.C.,
appears to be backing the medical
Yet, evidence provided by re-
sponsible VA medical clinicians
shows an overwhelming decline in
patient care wherever medical
school "cronies" have been allow-
ed to replace VA personnel.
So far, cronyism seems to be the
only answer to the question--why?
Charges that medical school ad-
ministrators have been influential
in transferring or firing VA hospi-
tal specialists in order to stack VA
staffs with their own physicians
and administrators have been
leveled too often to ignore.
Too many competent doctors and
VA personnel have complained
See WARNING Pg. 5
With An Iron Fist
[Doctors Hired and Fired at will.
VA Administrators bow and scrape
before University Deans.]
In the past half decade, the
Universities and medical schools
have taken such a firm grasp on
VA hospitals that some VA admini-
strators complain that they no
longer control administrative
matters in their own hospitals.
Although some VA hospitals have
benefited from University affilia-
tion, other hospitals have been
totally dominated and absorbed.
The Stars and Stripes, veterans'
organizations, and Congress have
been deluged with reports of the
extent to which VA hospitals have
become vassals of the Universities,
and there have been many reports
of abuses which are the result of
this subservient VA relationship.
Senator Proxmire of Wisconsin has
become so concerned about these
abuses that he has requested a
nationwide Government Account-
ing Office (GAO) investigation.
The most striking example of
University control of the VA is the
extent to which these institutions
have obliged VA doctors to con-
vert from full-time to part-time.
Since 1969, while overall employ-
ment of physicians in the VA
increased by 35%, those who ser-
ved full-time increased by 7%,
while those who served part-time
increased by 174%.
In an extraordinarily far-seeing
decision, The Veterans of Foreign
Wars adopted Resolution Number
93 at their 63rd National Conven-
tion, August 12-17, 1962, which re-
s7olved that VA Hospitals be run by
c actors who owe allegiance only to
the VA Hospital. The resolution
demanded that universities not
interfere in the selection or nomi-
nation of medical staff and not
interfere in the internal medical
affairs and practices of the VA
Hospital. In particular, they de-
manded abolition of the powerful
committee by which universities
achieve dominance over VA Hos-
The resolution reads as follows:
Eliminating Deans' Committees.
---Resolved that Deans' Commit-
tees should be abolished; that no
agency not under the direct control
of the VA should be permitted to
nominate full-time or part-time
doctors, residents or consultants
for appointment as employees in a
VA hospital; that the training of
residents should be conducted by
full-time staff members of VA
hospitals or by part-time members
or consultants employed by the VA
for that purpose who will be
responsible only to the proper
officials of the VA hospital con-
Philadelphia's four Democratic
Congressmen called on the Vet-
erans Administration to take im-
mediate administrative action to
end "blatant irregularities" in ser-
vice to patients at the VA Hospital
and Outpatient Clinic in Philadel-
IN A LETTER to the newly
named VA Administrator, Max
Cleland, the Philadelphia Congres-
sional delegation said they have
received "a steadily increasing
number of complaints from indivi-
dual veterans and veterans' repre-
sentatives" concerning the opera-
tion of the two VA facilities.
Joining in the letter to the VA
Administrator were Represen-
Their letter to Cleland cited co-
plaints from veterans concerning
the clinic at 1421 Cherry St.,
* Failure of the VA to staff and
operate the clinic as a separate
entity, viewing it as a "distant
cousin" of the hospital;
s Cases in which veterans hav'e
been required to take an examine
tion at the clinic for one medical
problem and who then are taken by
cab to the hospital for an exammuia-
tion of a second problem;
. Cases of veterans being re-
quired to report at a later date for a
second examination which, the
veterans feel, "could have bee:
conducted at the time of the first
CHANGE IN PHYSICIAN STAFFING IN VA SINCE 1969
*From data presented by VA Chief Medical Director before
the House Senate Veterans Af"ai"'Committees.
See IRON FIST Pg. 5
tatives Robert N. C. Nix, Joshua
Eilberg, Michael 0. Myers and
Raymond F. Lederer.
Rep. Rayrn . Lehe
See CLIA P
Of Veterans &
fu s1th Yaar Number 22
.Oc PER COPY
Vets Priority Over Med Schools
Immediate Administrative Acti'
VFW Predicted VA-University
Rip-Off Years Ago In Resolution
un~o1U -k .xoauva*
Eilberg, Myers & L~ederer Finc
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Smith, John Lewis, III. The Stars and Stripes-The National Tribune, Volume 100, Number 22, June 2, 1977, newspaper, June 2, 1977; Washington D.C.. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth1010148/m1/1/?q=heckler: accessed May 29, 2020), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting National WASP WWII Museum.