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Whistleblower physician reinstated at California VA hospital

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (FILE)
Posted at 2:43 PM, Jul 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-07 17:43:39-04

LOS ANGELES (AP)  — A whistleblower physician who was forced into retirement after raising concerns about anesthesia staffing practices during surgeries at a Los Angeles Veterans Affairs hospital has gotten his old job back, federal officials said Thursday.

Dr. Robert Cameron was reinstated as Chief of Thoracic Surgery at West Los Angeles VA Medical Center, according to a statement from the U.S. Office of Special Counsel.

In early 2018, Cameron disclosed two near deaths of VA patients during the administration of anesthesia in thoracic surgeries, the statement said. Cameron maintained the complications were avoidable, had anesthesiologists with greater thoracic experience been present.

Not long after raising the concerns, Cameron “involuntarily retired one day shy of his separation date, an alternative suggested by the supervisor who had proposed his separation,” the OSC statement said.

Dr. Cameron filed a complaint with OSC alleging he was forced into retirement in retaliation for his whistleblower disclosures.

In addition to getting his job back, Cameron will receive $100,000 in back pay, and an additional $20,000 in damages, the OSC statement said.