Incidents of negligence on the part of medical professionals can be harmful enough for patients in New York, but systematic failings within a medical establishment or group can be particularly detrimental to maintaining health and safety standards. That’s why the conduct of national health providers such as the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs must be considered with increased scrutiny to identify and address claims of hospital negligence and other serious issues.
Concerns over poor patient care and widespread organizational problems within the VA medical system were raised in the fall of 2013, after a retired physician for the VA spoke publicly about excessive wait times for the VA patients seeking care. Now, the U. S. Office of Special Counsel is commenting on the results of its own investigation, alleging that VA facilities across the country have engaged in acts that undermine patient care and safety. Beyond that, the OSC claims that hospital malpractice persists because the medical group’s own Office of the Medical Inspector has failed to acknowledge the link between incidents of negligence and compromised patient care.
Among the hospitals investigated by the OSC was a VA facility in Buffalo, New York, and multiple claims against facilities across the nation were apparently substantiated. Some of the allegations made against VA hospitals included the use of unsterile medical equipment and the illegal prescription of narcotics. One specific incident involved a veteran that apparently spent eight years in a psychiatric facility without ever being properly evaluated.
As allegations and questions continue to mount over the quality of patient care provided by VA facilities, more patients may come forward with serious claims of negligence and/or mistreatment. Medical malpractice attorneys are well-versed in the law as well as patient rights, and can help people understand their case and legal options.
Source: CNN, “Veterans neglected for years in VA facility, report says,” Nelli Black, Scott Bronstein and Drew Griffin, June 23, 2014