U.S. Rep. Kendrick B. Meek (D-FL) released the following statement after learning that fewer than half of Veterans Affairs centers had appropriate guidelines for medical procedures such as colonoscopies, potentially exposing thousands of veterans to HIV and other diseases.
Meek first learned about medical mistakes that had transpired in the Miami VA Hospital on March 23, immediately thereafter called Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki about the matter, and wrote both the Secretary and Inspector General George Opfer requesting an Inspector General’s investigation into the matter. A copy of that letter is attached.
On March 27, Rep Meek conducted an on site visit of the VA facility in Miami meeting with healthcare professionals, hospital administrators and press on the ongoing patient testing taking place at that facility.
A copy of the U.S. Rep. Meek statement appears below:
“The findings in the Inspector General’s report that I requested in March and will be officially released tomorrow morning are beyond troubling. Veterans should expect extraordinary care at our VA facilities, but instead they received subpar treatment. To admit wrongdoing is never easy, and the VA should be credited for being proactive in investigating their conduct – yet that does not excuse the magnitude of the inexcusable errors that were committed.
“While we can never adequately pay back our veterans for their service to our country and dedication to the uniform they wore, we can try to assist by providing them with the top level of medical care they deserve. The VA is a model of the type of healthcare we provide our veterans and when mistakes like this occur, it undermines the efficacy of the entire system.
“Though I am not a member of the committee, tomorrow I will join the Veterans Affairs Committee and will expect to hear an answer to the question, ‘How could this have happened?’ By exposing veterans, their families and communities to life debilitating and life threatening diseases, we have responded to our veterans’ service with the ultimate disservice.
“We desperately need a new set of guidelines to ensure that when these or any medical procedures are conducted at the VA, they are done so in the most careful manner adhering to the highest standards of medical care.”
Friday, June 26, 2009
U.S. Rep. Kendrick B. Meek Regarding Veteran’s Affairs Inspector General Report Regarding Medical Mistakes at VA Facilities
Posted by Professor Rex at 4:04 PM