The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has begun to see severe increases in staff shortages this year. VA had been making progress in the years previous with staffing shortages but have fallen back into this problem. An Inspector General (IG) report found that all 139 VHA facilities that were surveyed have at least one severe occupational staffing shortage. Nationwide VHA is facing 2,622 severe staffing shortages for 285 occupations within the administration. This is the first increase in staffing shortages since 2018 and is still lower than the 2018 total but have begun to raise concerns. VA attributes a large impact on staffing issues to the continued impact of the COVID pandemic. Currently, 87% of facilities have experiences severe shortages for medical officers and 91% have reported severe shortages for nurses. The seven occupations that have remained in the top 10 for most severe shortages are police, psychiatry, primary care, practical nurse, general engineering psychology, and medical technologist
In response to these shortages, VHA is asking for Congress to pass legislation to raise caps for health care positions and to make some pandemic-era hiring practices permanent for the future, but there have been no permanent changes or solutions provided to this point in time.