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Public Healthcare: Ask Yourself Would You Rather Go To A (1)Private Hospital; (2) State Run Hospital; (3) VA Hospital

August 22, 2010
The NYTIMES reported over the weekend, that a Veteran’s Affair Medical Center, located in Philadelphia, PA, had a “rogue cancer unit … that operated with virtually no outside scrutiny and botched 92 of 116 cancer treatments over a span of more than six years — and then kept quiet about it.”
According to a Government investigation, the cancer unit’s failed prostate treatments, ended up “landing in the patient’s healthy bladder, not the prostate” resulting in adverse radiation treatment, causing patients severe bowel pain, exacerbation of prostate problems, and other life-threatening health complications.
Furthermore, the Veteran’s hospital failed to insure proper safety measures, to recognize such failed prostate implants. According to the article, the cancer unit’s “team continued implants for a year even though the equipment that measured whether patients received the proper radiation dose was broken … the radiation safety committee at the Veterans Affairs hospital knew of this problem but took no action, records show.”
. says: Thumbs Down to the three Veterans Administration hospitals in the South that failed spot inspections of their disinfection procedures for certain equipment. According to a report in The Greenville News , the inspections revealed that instruments used in colonoscopies and endoscopies were not properly disinfected, potentially exposing patients to deadly diseases. Nearly 11,000 veterans in three states were put at risk because of the shoddy disinfecting procedures. This is unacceptable for a federally run medical clinic that serves our veterans, and these and all facilities need to improve their procedures so anyone can feel safe when having these or any important procedures performed.

The Washington Post exclaims: The typical veterans’ hospital is considerably more likely than other hospitals to fail quality standards in key areas such as surgery, emergency care and intensive care, according to a study by the commission that accredits most of the nation’s health care facilities.
The study of 116 veterans’ hospitals is likely to trigger renewed debate over the adequacy of government medical care for the nation’s 27 million veterans. Each year, about 3.5 million veterans use the 172 medical centers administered by the Veterans Affairs Department.

My father was a 30 year veteran who served in Viet Nam and Korea. For 15 years of my life, my family and I lived with Public Health. We seldom saw the same doctor twice. We were lucky if the new doctor had our records to look at before diagnosing our maladies. At one point, after my father retired, I was put in a Veterans’ hospital to recover from a broken pelvic bone. I was 16 at the time and they shoved me into a back corner of an enormous adult ward. There was no AC, I was in a cast from the waist down to my toe and in traction and I was basically left there to rot. If not for my mother’s constant badgering I could have poisoned by my own feces from chronic consitpation because of lack of care by the nurses. Finally, my parents moved me out of that hell-hole into a decent private hospital.

This is the kind of care our government is giving to those most worthy of high caliber health care. What makes you think a Public Health Option will offer any better care?


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