As Veterans Seek Medical Attention at VA Hospitals, Malpractice Cases Demonstrate Cracks in System

As a result of two wars in the last decade in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as the ongoing war on terror, more veterans are returning home seeking medical attention for conditions ranging from tooth extractions to treatment for post traumatic stress disorder. The strain on the Veterans Administration hospitals around the country is starting to show signs of strain and systemic problems.
According to the Insurance Journal, “The cases against the VA have included missed diagnoses, delayed treatment and procedures performed on wrong body parts. U.S. lawmakers and veterans’ advocates say they reflect deep flaws in the agency’s health-care system even as the department tends to more former troops, including those who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. “The rapid rise in malpractice judgments against VA mirrors the emerging pattern of preventable veteran deaths and other patient safety issues at VA hospitals,” said Representative Jeff Miller, a Florida Republican and chairman of the House veterans committee. “What’s missing from the equation is not money or manpower — it’s accountability.” Miller’s committee recently scheduled a hearing in Pittsburgh to probe lapses that include a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak at a VA hospital that killed at least five veterans and have also led to malpractice claims.”