COLUMBIA, Mo. - On Wednesday Missouri Rep. Vicky Hartzler announced a new bill to combat a shortage of medical personnel at Veterans Affairs hospitals. It's called the VA Fairness in Hiring Act.
Hartzler spoke at the Truman VA Hospital in Columbia, where she highlighted the need to take good care of veterans while cutting government inefficiencies.
This comes at a time when the need for medical staff in the VA is near an all-time high, as it struggles to find and keep doctors, nurses and other medical personnel.
"This bill enables VA hospitals to compete with private practice medical centers for the best doctors and medical staff, heightening veterans' quality of care, and easing the VA's current personnel shortage," Hartzler said.
She went on to say the bill "provides VA hospitals potential relief to recruit and retain the medical personnel required to provide that care. It also allows medical providers to answer the call to serve their nation by providing health care to our veterans."
The VA Fairness in Hiring Act is designed to exempt certain medical professionals who are seeking VA employment from non-compete agreements they might enter into with a private practice. It would also prevent physicians from using the exemption to get out of their non-compete agreements.
The fact that the VA is unable to require non-compete agreements of it's own means private practices are able to pull potential employees away from them.