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After health care scandal, Veteran Affairs to restructure around providing better customer service




Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald awaits the start of a hearing before the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee September 9, 2014 in Washington, DC. The committee heard testimony on
Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald awaits the start of a hearing before the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee September 9, 2014 in Washington, DC. The committee heard testimony on "The State of VA Health Care."
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The Veteran Affairs Administration unveiled Monday plans to overhaul the agency in the wake of the health care scandal that has plagued the department for a better part of a year. It represents the first major action by new VA Secretary Robert McDonald, who has been in the job for just three months. Under the plan, the agency will streamline its massive bureaucracy and improve its customer service to better serve veterans. In focusing on improving customer service, McDonald is bringing his experience from the private sector to fix the VA health care system that has hitherto been beset by long wait times, sloppy record-keeping, and fraudulent practices.

In an interview with CBS, McDonald said that the VA is looking to fire 35 executives and discipline 1,000 staffers because of the mishaps.

Guest:

Travis Tritten, reporter at Stars and Stripes who’s been following the story, @Travis_Tritten

This piece is part of KPCC's ongoing coverage of issues affecting veterans for Veteran's Day 2014. See more of our coverage at KPCC.org/vets.