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Monday, July 14. 2014
Here's a list of the Phoenix VA Hospital administrators and their salaries. There are no doctors in this list (wrong). This is what you get when the government runs health care..... via http://www.openthebooks.com/search/?PensionCode=840&F_fiscalyear=2013&F_Station=Phoenix&F_Name=&perpage=100
That list did seem implausible. Sorry for conveying erroneous info! Sloppy of us.
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"There are no doctors in this list."
The federal government typically doesn't list "Dr" or "MD" on these types of lists. Most of the people you listed are in fact physicians (doctors).
Damn, I hate it when people I generally agree with say stupid stuff.
They deserve it because they're doing a great job. Let's hope they got some bonus money on top of their salaries.
If it is indeed, a fact, as you say, would you know of a way to get the particular information that would make it such.
And this is only Phoenix? Multiply that list by 200 to get an idea of what is going on throughout the country.
Too bad the list did not include job titles. I suspect that there are several totally indecipherable ones.
"Aide to the assistant deputy director of procurement of recreational supplies, equipment and furnishings for non-playing card table games"
I'm afraid I leaped before looking.
After I posted I started googling names on the list. I checked ten random names and they all came back as medical professionals in specialized fields.
I'm embarrassed by my leap of faith. How about you, original poster?
No ifs, ands or buts about it. Instead of wondering if something someone else says is fact or fiction, get off your arse and do some freakin' research.
Start looking up the names on the list yourself.
"The amount of energy needed to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it."~Alberto Brandolini
So what if they are doctors. What in the hell have they been doing all these years when the Veterans have been dying and getting (when the few appointments are available) substandard care. Why haven't they in mass protested how their patients have been treated or not treated at all.
As a Vietnam Vet I am appalled by and ashamed of the government. I have been lucky in life's lottery and this criminal negligence and greed does not affect me directly, but it does many brave and decent men and women.
Our government is a disgrace as our these officials and doctors who collect these salaries and bonuses and by their inaction and lack of defense of their patients should be made to pay and be vilified throughout this great country (the government not so much).
You made the assertion, not I. Your court to prove it, not mine. We're a little beyond the point, nowadays, or should be, where assertions count as facts without substantiating data.
Thanks for the link.
My Mercedes is in the parking lot, under the shadeport... it is Phoenix you know.
I don't hold doctors responsible so much, unless in the interests of a particular patient. It is an overburdened system, one not founded under its present strain. Doctors just say next patient. It is the bureaucratic structure that runs the show.
The point of the original post was that it was proof that the VA is bloated with high paid administrators rater than doctors. The proof was false. It proved nothing of the sort.
I doubt that the doctors are responsible for the scheduling atrocities that have been reported. That's not something they would typically be involved with.
The salaries reported for these physicians is significantly below what their peers earn. The problem is not the salary they are paid, but rather the method for determining these salaries. Veterans would be better off if we abolished the VA system and they received a stipend or vouchers for medical care or insurance and obtained care in the private market.
Are you saying that these "doctors", if that is what they are, did not know what was going on for the last 20 years or so and it was never discussed with their colleagues. And it was never brought to their attention by patients/family members, nursing personnel I would find that , if so, to be damning in itself.
It seems as if we may be somewhat in agreement. I'll just take some exception with your last paragraph. Most doctors, and specialists, who work for the VA, expenses for medical school are paid for by the VA. For that they obligate themselves to a serving the VA for X amount of years and understand that they will receive a lower salary in the interim. The retirement benefits however are great, and many choose that route.
Do you work for the VA, Mike M.?
The current conversation notwithstanding, Veterans are almost always going to be screwed as most nobody gives a shit about them. Mostly just patter about pitter. And we die.
Bloat can be defined many ways. Those salaries are not out of line for a physician, but that assumes a reasonable caseload. I heard that in a day, many doctors would see a fraction of the patients a doctor in a private hospital would. If this is true and that assessment applies to any VA doctors, then I would say their salaries are bloated.
Veterans would be better off if we abolished the VA system and they received a stipend or vouchers for medical care or insurance and obtained care in the private market.
Given I have been treated there, I find that list unbelievable if they are Doctors. I could not get in to see a Doctor, short staffed, saw a Reg. Nurse for a complete physical. Took a paralyzed Vet there for a broken leg and they had NO Doctor in the hospital that could set the bone, he was shipped by ambulance to Tucson to have the bone set, a 2 hour, 120 mile drive in rush hour. These people may or may not be doctors but they sure as hell don't work there very much and certainly not deserving the pay I saw for time worked.
I'll quote from Bulldog once more:
"The amount of energy needed to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it."~Alberto Brandolini
Allow me to address some of the bullshit being transmitted by the uninformed, but first - No, I don't work at the VA or for the VA or for the government. When I was in medical school, one of our teaching hospitals was a VA - that's where I got a front row seat observing and experiencing the inefficiencies and ineffectiveness of government run anything. I'm not defending the VA. I'm just attacking bad facts and bad reasoning.
For example, the original post by Gwyinnie was full of bad facts. A further example of bad (wrong) facts is:
"Most doctors, and specialists, who work for the VA, expenses for medical school are paid for by the VA. For that they obligate themselves to a serving the VA for X amount of years and understand that they will receive a lower salary in the interim."
Aside from the implication that specialists are not doctors (actually, "physician" is a better term as doctors include those with a PhD or other doctorate degree), the assertion that the VA provides scholarships for medical students who then are obliged to work at the VA is pure fiction.
Perhaps you are referring to the few medical students who accept a scholarship from one of the branches of the armed forces and then repay the scholarship by serving in that branch at an ACTIVE military hospital on a military base (NOT the VA).
Many doctors who work in the VA system - particularly specialists - also work at other hospitals particularly when the VA hospital they work at is associated with a medical school or postgraduate training program. However, many doctors practice solely at a VA hospital. Their salaries (on average) are much lower than what their peers earn.
So, why would someone opt for a lower salary versus a higher salary? I hope I don't need to spell this out, but some doctors have to opt for a "captive" audience - patients who can get "free" care at the VA or pay big dollars to see a private doctor and opt for the free care - because they can't compete in the private market. Also, some doctors like the fixed hours ("if the patient is sick after 5PM, it's not my concern"), etc.
While there are some fine doctors in the VA system, on average the care is better in the private world where pay is (or was) based on supply and demand and the doctor is (or was) responsible directly to the patient rather than the doctor's employer - hopefully you can see the parallel to life under Obamacare where pay is based on what the government says it is and (as more doctors become hospital employees) the doctors work for hospitals rather than for patients.
With the exception of physicians who are also administrators, MOST doctors in the VA system just take care of the patient load they are presented with - although they're in no rush to work too hard because they get the same whether they work fast or slow, i.e. they have no skin in the game. They don't monkey with the schedule, etc. That's something the clerical staff (non-doctors) ad their administrative bosses handle. In the case of specialty care where the specialist works at several other hospitals, the doctor is really in the dark regarding appointments, etc.
Where the VA also functions as a teaching hospital, patients are often viewed by the physician staff more as practice material than patients. The medical students and residents have no long term obligation at the VA. They simply view it as a means to gain experience so that they can go out and treat their own patients. In exchange for this experience, they provide care for the vets during their training period. From an economic (that doesn't mean financial) standpoint, they want to get as much as they can while giving as little as they can.
Google doctor salaries. General Surgeon $225k, General practitioner $186k, family physician $123k-$178k. Specialist generally are high to a lot higher. The question is why should an organization is big as the VA have to pay premium to get mediocre to bad doctors. The answer is that bureaucracies deterioate to the point where their entire purpose in life is the furthering ofthe bureaucracy for the interests of the bureaucrats. If we were abe to clean up VA today and make it a "perfect" organization within 10 years we would be back to overpaying mediocre doctors to not perfomr their mission. I am in favor of phasing out the VA and instead providing the veterans with insurance adequate to their needs. During this phase out period I would be in favor of eliminating all federal politicians and bureacrats medical insurance and requiring them to use the VA. To me this would be a win/win. We could eliminate a disaster of a federal agency and in the end provide real health care to the veterans. AND we could expose the politicians and bureacrats to the very health care disaster they created.
One last point about government wages. It is clear that because of unions and allowing the bureaucrats to set their own wages and benefits that our federal employees are extremely over compensated. I think it is unconscionable that our government taxes the middle class into poverty just so they can pay bureacrats into the 1% class. Perhaps it's time to set a limit on government compensation. Something reasonable likeno more then twice the average pay of the middle class $40k-$64k. Secondly to require that the overall average pay of all government workers couldn't exceed the average for the middle class. That would mean if you employ somene at the top end, say an administrator, you would have to have a number of employees who make less then the average to meet this goal. Alternatively you could choose to simply pay administrators less or have fewer of them. And of course there would be the need for talented highly paid people and the proper way to manage that would be to contract with them as needed. Just as you and I don't hire lawyers or doctors to keep on staff in case we need them we instead go out on the free market and contract for their services as needed.