In an effort to streamline the Veterans Affairs (VA) Department's healthcare system, a North Carolina senator recently introduced legislation aimed at consolidating the vital service. The move was made in the hopes of making the process a bit simpler, Military Times reports.
The bill was put forward by Sen. Richard Burr and its most important goal is reducing the the number of regional administrative offices operated by the VA. Currently there are 21 of the so-called Veterans Integrated Service Networks (VISN), and Burr hopes to cut the number down to 12. He says lowering the number of offices will offer a more centralized service for veterans.
"By reducing the number of administrative offices and reallocating staff and resources to our VA medical centers in the field, we can provide our nation’s veterans and their families with quality care they deserve," Burr told the publication.
The original purpose of VISNs was to address budget and administrative issues, but Burr says they are unnecessary and draw resources away from the health centers, where funding and staffing is the most important.
The proposed legislation comes just days after an important ruling was made regarding the VA. A federal appeals court recently ruled that Congress, not the court system, should be tasked with overhauling the VA's mental health system, The Associated Press reports.