VA Healthcare System Failing Veterans, Study SaysTweet
March 28, 2013
Military veterans experience “excessive wait time” for medical care, leading to higher incidences of preventable hospitalizations and death, according to a scientific research council.
Drawing on the findings of recent government and scholarly studies, a report issued this week by the Institute of Medicine paints a picture of a healthcare system that is understaffed, undertrained, and inaccessible.
For instance, veterans seeking mental-health care at one site had to wait, on average, 86 days to see a psychiatrist, according to the report. And veterans living in rural areas may not have access to any psychiatrists at all, the report said.
The Institute of Medicine’s report comes a couple of weeks after the Government Accountability Office testified that Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) employees manipulated records to understate the wait times for medical appointments. In once clinic, for example, employees made it appear as though there was no wait time when, in reality, veterans experienced six- to eight-week delays for appointments, the GAO said.
Congress commissioned the study by the Institute of Medicine, which is part of the National Academies. The National Academies is a non-profit organization that often provides advice to Congress on scientific and technical issues.
While the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), the healthcare arm of the VA, requires that veterans seeking mental-health care be able to get a doctor’s appointment within 24 hours, the VHA has no “reliable and accurate method” to make that happen, the report said, citing findings from the VA Office of the Inspector General.
Image from the U.S. Marine Corps.
Mia Steinle is an investigator for the Project On Government Oversight and the civil society coordinator for the U.S. Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. Her work focuses on government management of the oil, gas, and mining industries.
Topics: Government Accountability
Authors: Mia Steinle
- July 18, 2016
- July 7, 2016
- June 30, 2016
- June 16, 2016
- June 6, 2016
- May 17, 2016
- May 16, 2016
- May 11, 2016
Browse POGOBlog by Topic
POGO on Facebook
Fly Before You Buy: Tom Christie on Realistic Combat Testing
The Project On Government Oversight's Dan Grazier recently sat down with Tom Christie, a former Director of Operational Test & Evaluation at the DoD from 2001-2005, to talk about the critical need for realistic combat testing before the Pentagon buys new weapons.