‘Candy Man’ Doctor Finally FIRED From Tomah VA, Whistleblowers Elated

Jonah Bennett | Contributor

A notorious Department of Veterans Affairs physician, known as ‘the candy man’ for his extremely liberal opioid prescription policies, has finally been fired from the Tomah facility in Wisconsin.

Dr. David Houlihan heard the news from officials Friday. He has been on leave since January, a move necessary because of a VA investigation into allegations that Houlihan overprescribed opioids to patients and engaged in retaliation against staff, The Associated Press reports.

The decision came about as a result of the investigation. Patients at the Tomah facility were much more likely to receive high doses of opioids. Additionally, Houlihan’s presence created a culture of fear, fellow staff members and patients alleged.

“After extensive and fair investigation, the VA has formally removed Dr. Houlihan from their employment,” Democratic Rep. Ron Kind said in a statement, according to the Lacrosse Tribune. “This is an important step in moving forward at the Tomah VA and ensuring our veterans receive the care they earned and deserve.”

Houlihan is the second official at the hospital to be let go. Tomah facility director Mario DeSanctis was fired back in September.

Whistleblowers from the area are elated, but also hope that more serious action is on the way.

“Hopefully what will follow are criminal charges,” Ryan Honl, a whistleblower from Tomah, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “This is significant from my perspective just because he actually got fired, which is sad since in the real world, people would be amazed if you didn’t get criminally charged for harming patients and retaliating against those who exposed it. The only question is what are the American people willing to be satisfied with when it comes to our public servants who harm and in some instances kill veterans through, at minimum, negligence?”

Back in August, the facility was hit by an inspector general report which discovered that the death of Marine Corps veteran Jason Simcakoski in 2014 from a toxic mixture of drugs was entirely preventable. (RELATED: Report Blames VA For Avoidable Death Of Marine, Cites Abysmal Failures)

Houlihan’s firing takes effect on Nov. 9.

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Tags : david houlihan department of veterans affairs jason simcakoski tomah wisconsin
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