- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 18, 2018

Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin said Thursday that while he’s concerned about some of the vacancies in his department, he wants to make sure the right people fill the jobs.

“Getting the right leadership in place is one of our most important tasks right now,” Mr. Shulkin said on Fox News.

“We know what it takes, in terms of the amount the time and energy, to do public service jobs,” he added.

Many of the department’s top spots remain open including the assistant secretary for accountability — a new position created under the Trump administration — as well as the under secretary for health position. Two previous commissions were created to find a nominee, but were unsuccessful.

Mr. Shulkin said that he wants people who can dedicate the time and care to make significant changes in the department.

“We’re looking for people who are going to come in and make a difference,” he said.

The VA has been plagued with inefficiencies and health care issues for years. In 2014, a report came out that at least 40 veterans had died waiting for care in the department’s system in Phoenix, Arizona. Similar circumstances were found in VA health care centers across the nation. It was later revealed that some hospitals, staff falsified records of wait times.

• Sally Persons can be reached at spersons@washingtontimes.com.

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