MEMPHIS, Tenn. — WREG uncovered bonuses paid to executives at the veterans hospital in Memphis.
We discovered the information the same week the U.S. government said more investigating of problems at the hospital must be done. WREG followed the money trail and learned how much was paid.
A whopping $108 million in bonuses has been awarded to VA executives and employees in Memphis and at other VA facilities over the last three years. Some people believe that money should have been used to improve the care of veterans instead.
Some VA hospital employees in Memphis are raking in the dough even though the hospital is being investigated for life endangering wait times and the deaths of three veterans in 2012.
WREG uncovered Memphis VA employees received almost $71,000 in bonuses last year.
One employee got a $5,000 bonus. Another got $4,500 and the list goes on and on. At least ten employees received bonuses of $1,000. Most bonuses were on top of already six-figure salaries. Federal documents show at least ten VA Memphis employees are paid $300,000 or more.
WREG showed the list of some of the bonuses to veterans at the hospital.
“Personally, I feel there shouldn’t be any bonuses because if there’s a bonus in play anything can happen paper wise. You can inflate the numbers anyway you want them in order to get your bonus so there shouldn’t be bonuses,” said veteran Alfred Hunt.
Kenneth Parker’s reaction was similar. He said money used for bonuses should have been used for something else.
“More quality service a bigger staff, more nurses and doctors,” said Parker.
Congress is currently trying to prevent any similar bonuses until 2016. Workers at other VA hospitals across the country got a lot bigger bonuses. Doctors and dentists at the hospital in San Diego got bonuses worth tens of thousands of dollars.
We’ve contacted the VA here in Memphis for their response on how these bonuses were awarded.