VA hospitals flooded with complaints about care

President Trump and Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin (above) have encouraged more VA whistle-blowers to come forward. –Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff/File

Nursing home residents at the Bedford Veterans Affairs Medical Center can go many hours without food or languish in bed wearing only soiled sheets. The oldest buildings on the campus 25 miles north of Boston contain asbestos, exposing workers to potentially deadly fibers.

At the William Jennings Bryan Dorn VA Medical Center in South Carolina, one doctor didn’t know how to give a spinal injection, and hospital leaders misled accreditors to win approval for their pain program.

And at the Fayetteville VA Medical Center in North Carolina, operations had to be rescheduled because anesthetists didn’t give patients enough medicine to fall asleep. Some anesthetists didn’t know how to properly insert a breathing tube.

On Monday, a congressional committee will hold a hearing in New Hampshire to explore allegations brought by 11 whistle-blowers who worked at the Manchester VA hospital (above). —Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe
Dr. Edward Kois (left) and Stewart Levinson drew attention to problems at Manchester’s VA hospital. —Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff/File