Since reporting on the VA hospital scandals that plagued the Veteran’s Administration, this blog checks in with the VA healthcare system every year to report any improvements. This year, rather than rating the system based on metrics used to measure service efficiency, 2,400 veterans were asked about the care they were receiving at the VA hospitals.
In 2020, 2 million women were veterans of the armed forces. Since they accounted for only 10 percent of the total veteran population, they tended to be understudied, if not ignored. The Department of Veterans Affairs predicts, however, that by 2040 women will make up more than 18% of the veteran population and will definitely garner more concern and attention.
Failure to provide timely, effective medical attention for the millions of combat veterans who have served our nation is the scandal that has haunted the Veterans Administration for the past ten years; veterans dying in corridors and parking lots as they languished on waiting lists; overwhelmed VA hospitals sinking into dereliction as vets begged for help.
How could this happen? Did Congress's fail to provide a robust VA system? Was it the fault of the dedicated medical professionals who work tirelessly in VA hospitals? Were they just "burning out"?
The VA has tested 913,624 veterans and reported 83,527 confirmed COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began back in March. 4, 223 veterans have died from COVID. Sadly, 66 VA employees have died trying to save their lives.
High Risk Group
Nearly 50% of veterans are 65 or older, which puts them at greater risk of severe illness or death due to COVID-19. Additionally, many veterans are at a higher risk of respiratory illness due to the environments and toxins they were exposed to while on active duty, which also places them in a higher risk group for coronavirus.
When the draft ended in 1973, women represented just 2% of the enlisted forces and 8% of the officer corps. Today, those numbers are 16% and 18% respectively, a significant increase. Historically, the Air Force has had the highest percentage of enlisted and officer women, however, by 2016 the Navy had nearly caught up. In both services, approximately one-in-five enlisted members and officers are women. The military offers many opportunities for women such as good pay, excellent benefits and career advancement, but there are also significant challenges.
Memorial Day was this last Monday. We don't often think about the meaning behind the holiday. But, sometimes you get a good reminder of what Memorial Day is all about. A colleague of ours, Frank Bennett, wanted to share a personal story about his experience this Memorial Day and what it lead him to uncover.
After feeling as though the system is failing our veterans and seeing too many of our service people homeless and on the streets... a group of 4 veterans take on the challenge of creating tiny houses for those who have served our nation. Please read their story.
Every Day - 20 U.S. Veterans Commit Suicide
In 2014, the latest year statistics are available, 7,400 veterans took their own lives.
Back in 2014 this blog was one of the first to report on the troubled Veterans Health Administration facility in Phoenix where 40 veterans died while languishing on an eternal wait list to see a doctor. Since then, we've maintained a set of blog posts and articles that have related updates and status changes at the VA, as well as other issues that are affecting our veterans. A subsequent investigation uncovered a system-wide inability to offer vets timely medical treatment. 57,436 newly enrolled veterans faced a minimum 90-day wait for medical care, and 63, 869 veterans who had enrolled over the past decade never received any appointment at all. In addition, a corrupt administrative culture was falsifying wait-time records in order to protect management performance bonuses and punishing whistle-blowers who tried to bring the wait-time mess to the public’s attention.
Back in March of 2014 the FAMCare blog reported on a controversy that erupted within the Phoenix VA Healthcare System. VA employees had reported that patients were dying while awaiting appointments and that administrators were issuing phony wait-time data while collecting bonuses. This local scandal led to inquiries across the nationwide VA Healthcare System revealing untimely care, false data, and problems with transparency, whistle-blower retaliation, and accountability throughout the system.