Most have likely heard by now that the Veterans Affairs Secretary recently resigned from his post after it was discovered that nearly 40 veterans passed away as they awaited medical care. To make matters worse, the Inspector General’s report also uncovered that nearly 1,700 veterans at this very same VA in Phoenix, Arizona, were knowingly kept off of an official wait list.
This National VA scandal has led two Pennsylvania congressmen to look into Pittsburgh VA’s record. According to reports, they found that the Pittsburgh VA had put nearly 700 veterans on a wait list for medical care, and some of them had been on the waiting list for over a year. Although the Pittsburgh VA did not employ a secret wait list, some veterans have apparently been waiting since 2012 to get a medical appointment. Furthermore, it was discovered that upper management at the Department of Veteran’s Affairs may have coached Pittsburgh VA officials to keep Congress from finding out about the wait lists.
Following the unreasonable wait times to seek a medical appointment and potentially getting delayed treatment for a medical condition, the Pennsylvania Congressmen insisted that the VA call the 700 or so veterans and schedule a medical appointment for them. The spokesperson of the Pittsburgh VA noted that following the Congressmen’s request, over 630 veterans were contacted.
When it comes to making medical appointments with primary care doctors, many people simply pick up the phone and schedule it with their doctor at a time and day most convenient for the patient. No one even considers a wait list or that they may be placed on one. The idea of wait listing those needing medical care is incomprehensible and may lead to a worsened condition due to delayed treatment and diagnosis.
For anyone who believes that they have suffered harm due to a delayed diagnosis or delayed treatment, they may find it helpful to talk with a Philadelphia medications errors lawyer to ascertain if one has a strong legal case to hold a healthcare provider responsible for the harm.
Source: Modern Healthcare, “Congressmen decry 700 on Pittsburgh VA wait list,” May 31, 2014