Controversy continues to follow the Veterans Administration. A news investigation has recently revealed shocking levels of hospital negligence within the VA hospital system. The investigation revealed that the VA has settled more than 150 claims linked to the delayed treatment of patients; and, the findings suggest that thousands of patients may have died due to medical errors and mishaps at VA hospitals since 2001.
According to the investigation, the Veterans Administration has paid out millions in settlements linked to delayed treatment claims. The VA itself has admitted that 23 deaths did result from delayed treatment.
In light of the controversy, a senior official in the organization has stepped down and calls for more resignations are getting louder.
While the news investigation suggests that the breadth of hospital negligence issues within the VA system might be vast, public knowledge of some problems is nothing new. In 2012, the U.S. Government Accountability Office reported finding serious scheduling flaws at numerous VA hospitals. The government inspection also uncovered the fact that more than 2 million outpatient referral cases went unresolved for at least three months.
One legislator believes a complete change in thinking is needed at the organization. A retired air force colonel also called for a change in the culture of the VA.
How the VA will address these serious concerns remains to be seen. Congress is expected to consider a bill to increase accountability within the agency. Veterans in California and across the U.S. deserve much better than what has been alleged here.
Source: Stars and Stripes, “’Delay in treatment’ a factor in more than 100 deaths at VA centers,” Josh Sweigart, May 18, 2014