By Adam Andrzejewski for RealClearPolicy

The Department of Veterans Affairs is one of the federal government’s largest agencies, with 421,542 employees. Since 2016, the staff has grown by 48,928.

The VA serves our veterans – the men and women who risked life and limb to protect our country.

But even with the addition of staff, the VA is backed up with delays in treatment, a problem that started before the Covid-19 pandemic and has been exacerbated because of it.

While adding 106,000 employees to the payroll since 2012, only 6,700 were medical officers, i.e. doctors, according to a new oversight report from OpenTheBooks, “Mapping the Swamp: A Study of the Administrative State (FY2020).”

The average VA doctor made $262,770, while the highest paid took in $420,402 last year.

The 95,699 nurses earned an average of $90,484, with the highest paid earning $270,000 in 2020.

The already-strained VA has had an even harder time treating people during the pandemic, with at least 5,443 patients and 77 employees dying from virus complications in the last nine months, according to a December 2020 article in Military Times.

The VA is only doing about 86 percent of the surgeries they did before the pandemic, creating a months-long backlog.

There’s also been a delay in screening tests like endoscopies and mammograms, which could harm people relying on the VA for preventive care and treatment.

Our veterans deserve the basic healthcare and a department as large as the VA should be able to provide it.

Syndicated with permission from RealClearWire.

The #WasteOfTheDay is presented by the forensic auditors at OpenTheBooks.com.

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