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O’Rourke Introduces Bill to Tackle the VA’s Backlog in Hiring Doctors

WASHINGTON — Congressman Beto O’Rourke today introduced the bipartisan Get Veterans a Doctor Now Act, with Congresswoman Elise Stefanik of New York.

This legislation allows the VA to recruit resident physicians earlier, offering doctors a conditional job offer up to two years prior to their graduation.

“There are more than 43,000 unfilled medical positions at the VA. This prevents the VA from providing quality care that our veterans have earned. The sooner we can hire more qualified doctors to see our veterans, the better,” said O’Rourke.

“This important legislation will help make sure our heroes get the care they deserve,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “In my district, the Samuel S Stratton VAMC alone has over 28,000 enrolled patients with an average wait time of 11.25 days for a primary care appointment. This legislation will allow the VA to recruit on an even playing field with the private sector, providing more doctors to care for these North Country heroes.”

Currently, the VA must wait to recruit resident doctors until they have completed their residency as doctors. This bipartisan bill removes this limitation, allowing the VA to compete with the private sector for the best doctors.

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