Hearing examines complaints about New Hampshire veterans hospital

The Manchester VA hospital, pictured here in June, has faced considerable scrutiny after a July Boston Globe report exposed serious mismanagement and unsafe conditions.
The Manchester VA hospital, pictured here in June, has faced considerable scrutiny after a July Boston Globe report exposed serious mismanagement and unsafe conditions. –Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe

PEMBROKE, N.H. (AP) — The regional director for veterans hospitals across New England is facing criticism for his role in problems at the Manchester VA Medical Center.

The House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation held a field hearing in Pembroke on Monday, two months after a Boston Globe report highlighted allegations of substandard conditions and treatment at the hospital.

The panel’s chairman, Republican Jack Bergman of Michigan, said he’s concerned not just about longstanding leadership failures and other deficiencies in Manchester, but a lack of urgency at the regional office to fix them. Dr. Michael Mayo-Smith, the regional director, said officials are committed to understanding what went wrong and what procedures need to change.

Bergman was joined by Democrat Annie Kuster, the subcommittee’s ranking member, and New Hampshire’s Democratic U.S. senators.

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