Hospital delays are killing America’s war veterans
CNN is reporting that a Columbia, South Carolina Veterans Hospital has allowed veterans to die due to delays in care.
What’s worse, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is aware of the problems and has done almost nothing to effectively prevent veterans dying from delays in care, according to documents obtained by CNN and interviews with numerous experts.
The problem has been especially dire at the Williams Jennings Bryan Dorn Veterans Medical Center in Columbia, South Carolina. There, veterans waiting months for simple gastrointestinal procedures — such as a colonoscopy or endoscopy — have been dying because their cancers aren’t caught in time.
The VA has confirmed six deaths at Dorn tied to delays. But sources close to the investigation say the number of veterans dead or dying of cancer because they had to wait too long for diagnosis or treatment at this facility could be more than 20.
“It’s very sad, because people died,” said Dr. Stephen Lloyd, a private physician specializing in colonoscopies in Columbia.
Lloyd and other physicians across South Carolina’s capital city are being affected by the delays at Dorn as veterans seek treatment or diagnoses outside the VA hospital.
Lloyd is one of the few doctors in the area willing to speak on the record about the situation at Dorn.
“(Veterans) paid the ultimate price,” he said. “People that had appointments had their appointments canceled and rescheduled much later. … In some cases, that made an impact where they went into a later stage (of illness) and therefore lost the battle to live.”
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A Closer Look at the Numbers:
According to a Veterans Administration report, the Dorn VA center mismanaged its gastroenterology program, resulting in:
3,800 – Backlogged examinations
52 – Cancers that were “associated” with delays in diagnosis and treatment
9 – Lawsuits thus far
Via The State