There has been recent disturbing news about Veterans Affairs medical centers, and a lot of the news is about a particular VA hospital in Georgia. Our Atlanta medical malpractice lawyers have been following the story, and now a Congressional hearing and investigation is coming to our state on this tragic issue.
The issues surround the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center, which according to reports has seen a number of incidents involving suicides and ill treatment, prompting mismanagement and medical malpractice claims. The problem has been so rampant because of long waiting times and bad service being provided to veterans. And the majority of the problems appear to be with mental health issues, according to a report earlier this year about three patients who died in the hospital’s mental health ward due to mismanaged care. In 2010, there were 500 veterans on the waiting list for the Atlanta VA center and 16 attempted suicide before they got into the medical center. This facility treats 15,000 mental health patients as outpatients and another 4,000 were referred to outpatient counseling through community service boards. The average waiting time for these patients is three months. Many patients never received proper care or any kind of follow up. Murray Leigh, from the VA’s Office of Inspector General, said of Atlanta, “They were basically overwhelmed and patients were falling through the cracks.” One veteran was so frustrated he told reporters, “Mental health from the VA is just garbage.”
Now Georgia’s Senator Johnny Isakson is chairing a Senate Veterans Affairs Committee hearing from Georgia State University’s Student Center this week, starting at 10am on Wednesday, investigating patient deaths and other serious problems at the Atlanta VA Medical Center. The hearing is titled “Ensuring Veterans Receive the Care They Deserve: Addressing VA Mental Health Program Management.” Field hearings away from Washington are rare and show the seriousness of the problems and negligence in failing so many veteran patients. The hearing will have testimony by experts as well, including ones about the difficulties faced by veterans in simply accessing care amid red tape and bureaucracy, notwithstanding the problems once they receive care. The space will be big enough to hold 400 people and will be open to the public, with veterans particularly encouraged to attend.
Atlanta Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Everyone deserves to be treated with care, but stories about the most vulnerable – like the elderly and children – always seem particularly cruel. And these stories of veterans who gave so much for our country being left out and not cared for properly is also somehow particularly upsetting. If you or a family member has been hurt by a negligent medical professional, the experienced personal injury attorneys at Sammons & Carpenter may be able to help you get the compensation you need and deserve. Contact the Law Office of Sammons & Carpenter as soon as possible at 404-814-8948, or fill out our confidential online case evaluation form for a free consultation today.
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