News on Wellness

VA Fails to Address Medical Issues in Female Vets

Department of Veterans Affairs has been facing criticism for the long wait time for appointments and general disorder and corruption. Now they seem to have fallen behind in providing care to the female veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan. Last year 390,000 female vets were seen at VA hospitals and clinics and by the head of the VA’s office of women’s health own admission, there has been shortcomings in addressing the needs of these vets.


There are no full time gynecologists in one fourth of the VA hospitals and 140 out of 920 community clinics run by VA in rural areas don’t have a women’s health provider. When community clinics refer veterans for mammography to nearby medical facilities, the mammogram results are often not provided to the patients within two weeks as mentioned in VA policy.

Female veterans have been placed on the VA’s Electronic Wait List at a higher rate as compared to male veterans. Any new patient who cannot be scheduled for an appointment in 90 days or less are placed on that wait list. Most alarming of all, a VA presentation suggests one of every two female vat is likely to receive medicine that could potentially cause birth defects as compared to one of six women who are receiving care through a private HMO.

The number of female veterans enrolled in VA has increased dramatically since 2000, and the system has as yet failed to catch up and accommodate the particular needs of female veterans. “Are there problems? Yes,” said Dr. Patricia Hayes, the VA’s chief consultant for women’s health, in an AP interview. “The good news for our health care system is that as the number of women increases dramatically, we are going to continue to be able to adjust to these circumstances quickly.”

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