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Veterans Health Administration, Military Hospitals Under Scrutiny in New York Times — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
June 30, 2014

Veterans Health Administration, Military Hospitals Under Scrutiny in New York Times

By Amy Orciari Herman

Edited by Susan Sadoughi, MD, and Jaye Elizabeth Hefner, MD

The Veterans Health Administration — marred by poor management, archaic technology, and a shortage of providers — will need to be completely overhauled in order to serve an expected flood of new patients coming from Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a report commissioned by President Obama and released on Friday.

The report calls for "increased transparency," "a better structure," and "swift and appropriate accountability actions," but the solutions proposed, according to the New York Times, are "general and vague." (The Washington Post reported on Sunday that the President will nominate Bob McDonald, former chief executive of Procter & Gamble, as the new secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs on Monday.)

In a separate story, the Times reports on its own investigation into the care provided by military hospitals to the nation's 1.6 million active-duty service members and their families. The investigation revealed "a system in which scrutiny is sporadic and avoidable errors are chronic." Among the examples: infants born at military hospitals are twice as likely to be harmed during delivery as those born in civilian hospitals.

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