Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Veterans still getting shoddy treatment

A government report being released today concludes that wounded warriors are still getting the runaround from the Pentagon and Department of Veterans Affairs despite big promises of change after last February’s revelations about scandalous conditions at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

The Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, says delays for disability payments still average 177 days — nearly six months — with no indication that dramatic improvement is in the offing. The GAO also found continuing frustrations and shortfalls in care for the increasing number of military returnees from Iraq.

“Delayed decisions, confusing policies, and the perception that DOD and VA disability ratings result in inequitable outcomes have eroded the credibility of the system,” the GAO says in testimony to be released on Capitol Hill today. “Thus, it is imperative that DOD and VA take prompt steps to address fundamental system weaknesses.”

The government is still not properly screening and treating traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder, in part because not enough health professionals have been retained, the report says.......

No comments: