The systemic problems that have plagued the Veterans Affairs health care system appear to have come to a head here in New Mexico.
Democratic congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham recently stated that she was not impressed by the new VA hospital director’s leadership. She cited the report indicating that two veterans died when lab results showing that colorectal cancer weren’t addressed with the patients.
Rep. Grisham was “gravely disappointed” upon reading the results of the Inspector General’s investigation. According to the report, hundreds of veterans tested positive for indicators of colorectal cancer. Nine vets were diagnosed, and two succumbed when the delays kept them from seeking treatment.
In an interview, Rep. Grisham expressed her dismay, stating that she was “actually really sick and tired of seeing that information come from an independent report.” She added that a year ago when the new director was appointed, she was optimistic. However, her hopes were dashed when, after promising that changes were on the way, it seems as if there was no follow-through.
The congresswoman wants the VA to make the director and his staff to delve further into the hospital’s problems, like the lack of access to durable medical equipment and pharmaceuticals and problems with veterans getting timely appointments, in addition to the delayed lab results. She also feels that the responsibility for discovering these barriers to adequate care should be shouldered by the New Mexico VA rather than outside investigators.
Negligence comes in many forms in the medical field, and delayed test results are only one type of potential medical malpractice claims. Patients who feel that they received substandard medical treatment and who experienced worsened conditions as a result can seek professional legal advice if they decide to pursue the matter in court.
Source: KOAT, “Congresswoman “sick and tired” of issues at Albuquerque VA Hospital,” Kirsten Swanson, Oct. 17, 2016