Report: Ineligible doctors treated patients at VA

On Behalf of | Jun 16, 2022 | VA Hospital Negligence

It is not unreasonable for military members and veterans in Texas and across the nation to expect to get quality medical care. Those who were in the armed forces placed themselves on the line for the United States and have the right to receive proper care from qualified people. Unfortunately, there are frequent instances in which military medical errors take place.

This could happen through Veterans Affairs (VA) or when they seek treatment on their local military installation. If it was a misstep by the doctor or other medical professional, it is problematic by itself. If the error occurred because the VA approved outside medical professionals who were ineligible, it is even worse. Recently, it was discovered that the VA did not properly screen outside doctors and placed veterans at risk. This is an example of what can happen due to a lack of care and vigilance.

The Government Accountability Office did an audit of doctors who received referrals from the VA to treat veterans and found approximately 1,600 did not meet the criteria to do so. More than 600 of the doctors were found to have died. Also, 216 had their medical licenses revoked and nearly 800 surrendered their licenses willingly following investigations. This was said to be a minor number of providers compared to the 1.2 million who serve veterans, it is still an issue that must be addressed. This not only put veterans in jeopardy of receiving substandard care, but it also put the pieces in place for their personal information to be used for illicit purposes.

A bipartisan group of Congress members sent a request to the VA to check the qualifications of outside providers and eliminate those who are not eligible. This adds to the litany of problems that have negatively impacted the VA and veterans who were receiving treatment. That includes extended wait time for care and a lack of specialists. Strategies to improve oversight and care included conducting frequent checks into outside providers to ensure they were still able to care for veterans and shoring up shields to prevent fraud.

Victims of medical errors have rights

Military members of the past and present who put themselves in harm’s way and dedicated themselves to a life of service should receive appreciation for what they have done. That also includes making certain the medical care they receive is high-quality and they are not victimized by an absence of attention to who is giving them care. This is especially true when they are sent to specialists as their medical issues will clearly need more intensive and professional treatment. Mistakes, errors in diagnosis, giving the wrong medication and other areas of military medical malpractice are common problems and those responsible should be held accountable. Having assistance from professionals who are experienced in how the military systems work can be essential to moving forward.