By MARK HAYWARD
New Hampshire Union Leader
June 04. 2018 7:41PM
Acting VA Secretary Peter O’Rourke
The acting secretary of the VA visits Manchester today, but it’s unlikely that he will address the recommended restructuring of the Manchester VA Medical Center, and with it veteran health care in the state.
Longtime VA insider Peter O’Rourke, who took over the role of acting secretary a week ago today, should soon receive the recommendations written by the VA New Hampshire Vision 2025 Task Force, a VA spokesman said.
The recommendations say that specialty care needs to be beefed up at the Manchester center, but a full-service VA hospital is not needed in New Hampshire. The recommendations place emphasis on partnerships with existing New Hampshire hospitals and VA hospitals in Boston, Vermont and Maine.
The recommendations have drawn criticism from Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan, who have long called for a full-service hospital in the state. But they won the backing of the VA’s Special Medical Advisory Group, a panel of outside experts that reviews VA recommendations.
They are now under internal VA review, according to Maureen Heard, a spokesman for the Boston-region VA system named VISN-1, which includes Manchester.
“I personally thought the report would have been