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Congressman Gus Bilirakis

Representing the 12th District of Florida

Bilirakis Statement on Bay Pines VA Clinic Report

December 9, 2016
Press Release

U.S. Representative Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) released the following statement today in response to a report revealing that staff members at the Bay Pines VA hospital left the body of a Veteran in a shower room for over nine hours then tried to cover up the mistake.

“I am deeply disturbed by the incident that occurred at the Bay Pines VA hospital, and even more distressed to learn that staff attempted to cover it up. The report details a total failure on the part of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and an urgent need for greater accountability. Unsurprisingly, not a single VA employee has been fired following this incident, despite a clear lack of concern and respect for the Veteran. The men and women who sacrificed on behalf of our nation deserve better.” 

Bilirakis has long been in favor of legislation to reform the VA and overhaul the culture of mediocrity that persists at the agency. A study from the non-partisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported that it can take up to a year or more to dismiss a federal employee. Bilirakis strongly supported House passage of the VA Accountability Act, legislation to make it easier for the VA Secretary to fire employees for misconduct or poor performance.