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How Is The VA Staffing Crisis Affecting South Texas Veterans?

U.S. Department of Defense

There are an estimated 35,550 job vacancies at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

The staffing shortages are system-wide and impact the VA’s ability to provide quality care to veterans in need.

According to its website, the Veterans Health Administration is America's largest integrated health care system, serving 9 million veterans every year. The VHA's job vacancy rate, as of November 3, was 9 percent.

Critics claim the lack of hiring is a deliberate attempt to break the system, create a crisis of care and then privatize it.

Veterans, community members and VA employees rallied in front of the Kerrville VA Medical Center in late November. The American Federation of Government Employees plans to hold a San Antonio rally early next year.

What are the effects of understaffing on veterans nationwide and in South Texas? What is the Veteran's Choice Program, and how could it change the VA?

What needs to happen to fix the VA's staffing crisis? How can we ensure all U.S. veterans receive adequate care? 


"The Source" is a live-call in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m.  During the live show, call 210-614-8980, email thesource@tpr.org or tweet at @TPRSourceLeave a voicemail with your questions and comments in advance by calling 210-615-8982.

*Audio for this segment will be available by 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 12

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Kim Johnson is the producer for Texas Public Radio’s live, call-in show The Source. She is a Trinity University alum with bachelor’s degrees in Communication and Spanish, and a Master of Arts Degree from the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin.