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October 08, 2021

Severe Staffing Shortages in Critical Fields Persist in VHA

The VA Inspector General recently reported that VA facilities continue to face severe staffing shortages, particularly in clinical psychiatry, nursing, and among medical officers.  Although these shortages are staggering (90% of facilities have a severe medical officers’ shortage, 73% are severely short on nurses, and 50% of psychiatric facilities have a severe occupational staffing shortage), the VA has increased hires to remedy the shortage.  Mental health is a critical issue for veterans. The Veterans Crisis Line received a  notable increase in calls following Kabul’s fall to the Taliban.  While VA Secretary Denis McDonough believes progress is being made, the ongoing goal is zero veteran suicides.