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VA centers investigated for delayed treatment, other complaints

VA centers throughout the nation provide a valuable service to the brave men and women who have fought for their country. However, not every center meets the highest standard of care expected. A journalist recently noted that there have been millions of dollars worth of compensation paid to the families of soldiers who died as a result of medical malpractice at a VA center. The reasons include delayed treatment, denied care and inappropriate medical procedures. Veterans' facilities everywhere, even in Maryland, may all face tighter scrutiny in light of the recent reports.

The journalist reported that there have been men and women who committed suicide, in part because they were denied care for mental health complaints. Others suffered from lack of oversight of their condition and still others from having improper care. Just one facility alone was deemed accountable for more than seven wrongful deaths.

To add insult to the findings of lack of proper care, it has been further disclosed that some of the same facilities that have been implicated in causing the deaths of former soldiers have actually provided monetary rewards to senior staff. Members of Congress are reportedly outraged that care providers have been paid bonuses at a time when some of the facilities in question provided substandard medical care. Lawmakers are working to ensure that,instead of being rewarded, negligent staff are fired or suitably reprimanded.

It is important to remember -- and members of Congress have re-iterated -- that the majority of medical providers for veterans provide excellent care. A small number of facilities and staff have been implicated in the cases of delayed treatment and related medical failures. When a loved one has suffered significant harm as a result of a doctor's negligence or error, then there are measures that may be considered. Maryland victims and their families may choose to file a medical malpractice civil complaint against a doctor or facility, seeking to hold them financially liable for causing increased suffering and harm or, worse, an untimely and wrongful death.

Source: wishtv.com, "I-Team 8 looks into preventable deaths at VA clinics", Karen Hensel, Apr. 3, 2014

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