Army admits it failed injured

gabosaurus

Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2007
Messages
95
Reaction score
5
Points
6
Location
San Francisco
WASHINGTON (AP) — Substandard living conditions found at the Army's flagship veterans hospital likely exist throughout the military health care system, the head of a House panel investigating Walter Reed Army Medical Center said today.

"We need a sustained focus here, and much more needs to be done," Rep. John Tierney said of a scandal enveloping Walter Reed. Charges of bureaucratic delays and poor treatment there have produced calls in Congress for quick reform.

Tierney said he is afraid "these problems go well beyond the walls of Walter Reed," adding that "as we send more and more troops into Iraq and Afghanistan, these problems are only going to get worse, not better."

A House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee hearing today at the hospital brought a wide range of apologies from top-level Army officers and the Army's No. 2 civilian. "We have let some soldiers down," said Peter Geren, the undersecretary of the Army.

Tierney, D-Mass., chairman of the panel, questioned whether problems at the facility are "just another horrific consequence" of inadequate planning that went into war in Iraq; a problem created by contracting out work there to private business, or some other cause.

"This is absolutely the wrong way to treat our troops, and serious reforms need to happen... immediately," he said.

Geren, who will become acting Army secretary later this week, told the panel that the revelations of poor conditions at Walter Reed had hurt the Army. Defense Secretary Robert Gates forced Army Secretary Francis Harvey to resign last week and he leaves his post on Friday.

Two former commanders at the facility said they accepted responsibility for the failures.

Maj. Gen. George W. Weightman, head of Walter Reed from August until he was fired last week said: "You can't fail one of these soldiers ... not one. And we did."

Lt. Gen. Kevin C. Kiley, Army surgeon general and head of Walter Reed until 2004, apologized for what he called housing conditions that did "not meet our standards." He said renovations were under way.

He also said a team had been sent to some 11 other installations around the country to make sure there are not similar housing problems.

Regarding bureaucratic delays, Kiley said the system for outpatient care is "complex, confusing and frustrating" and that more doctors, nurses and other staff are being brought in to lower the case load and so speed the process.

Lawmakers listened closely as several patients came to the hearing with stories of lax or poor treatment at Walter Reed:

Staff Sgt. John Daniel Shannon, who lost his left eye and suffered traumatic brain injuries from a rifle wound, said that after he was discharged from Walter Reed, he was given a map of the grounds and eventually found his way to outpatient quarters by wandering around and asking for directions.

Then, he says, he "sat in my room for a couple of weeks wondering when someone would contact" him about continuing treatment.

"My biggest concern is having young men and women who have had their lives shattered in service to their country ... get taken care of," Shannon said.

Annette McLeod told the committee that her husband, Cpl. Wendell McLeod, was originally sent to the wrong hospital after he was hit in the head with a steel door in Iraq and also suffered a head injury.

Once at Walter Reed, she said, he suffered delays in getting outpatient tests and treatment.

"My life was ripped apart the day that my husband was injured," she told the panel tearfully. The experience at Walter Reed made it "worse than anything I've had to sacrifice in my life."

Addressing war veterans today, Vice President Dick Cheney promised that the problems at Walter Reed will be fixed.

"There will be no excuses — only action," Cheney told a gathering of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. "And the federal bureaucracy will not slow that action down."

Weightman said several systems set up to monitor patient complaints and opinions had failed to uncover the problems. An anonymous survey at the end of January, for instance, showed patient satisfaction with case workers and physicians at 90 percent, he said.

"Almost none of these issues were raised," he said. "That's obviously a failure ... get the feedback we need."

The controversy started last month with a series of stories in The Washington Post, but lawmakers said reports of the failures go back several years.

Rep. Henry A. Waxman, D-Calif., said that in addition to several government audits, there was a February 2005 Salon magazine story on poor conditions at the hospital's psychiatric ward; a 2006 report on problems screening people with brain injuries and a 2005 think tank report criticizing the complex disability program.

'My question is: Where have you been?" Tierney asked, when the third panel of witnesses took their seats at the witness table. They were Geren, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker, and his vice chief, Gen. Richard Cody.

"We've got all these reports with all these alarm bells going off ... and the information doesn't seem to get up the line of command," said Waxman.

In a letter Sunday to Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., asked for an independent commission, possibly headed by former Secretary of State Colin Powell, to investigate all post-combat medical facilities and recommend changes. President Bush last week had ordered a comprehensive review of conditions.
 

Merlin

Active Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2004
Messages
405
Reaction score
61
Points
28
Location
Ponchatoula, La.
I too deplore the conditions at Walter Reed Medical Center, "BUT" if what I am understanding is correct, which may not be the case, then it is the living quarters, not the actual hospital facilities that is in very bad disrepair. From what I can glean off the TV about the living quarters, they are a lot cleaner and in better condition than some of the VA hospitals in other parts of the country. Lets not concentrate on just this one that is in the limelight because it is in Washington DC, lets do them all. Most of the buildings and Dr. access across the country is a disgrace to our fighting troops.
 

Trigg

Active Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2004
Messages
774
Reaction score
69
Points
28
Location
midwest
Personnally I wouldn't mind seeing ALL VA hospitals shut down. The ones my husband worked in (Florida) had old equipment, uncaring staff and Dr.'s who have not passed the American Medical exams.

The gov. would save a lot of money by closing these hosp. and selling the equipment. The soldiers could then go to any hosp. in their area and receive better service. Even with the gov. picking up the tab on the procedures they would save money.

By the way gabosaurus these VA hospitals have been in disrepair for decades, so it's not just the Republicans, the Democrates can share the blame also.
 
OP
gabosaurus

gabosaurus

Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2007
Messages
95
Reaction score
5
Points
6
Location
San Francisco
I totally agree. Republican and Democratic administration should share the blame and shame of neglecting our veterans.
 
  • Thanks
Reactions: 90K

Gunny

Gold Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2004
Messages
44,689
Reaction score
6,852
Points
198
Location
The Republic of Texas
WASHINGTON (AP) — Substandard living conditions found at the Army's flagship veterans hospital likely exist throughout the military health care system, the head of a House panel investigating Walter Reed Army Medical Center said today.

"We need a sustained focus here, and much more needs to be done," Rep. John Tierney said of a scandal enveloping Walter Reed. Charges of bureaucratic delays and poor treatment there have produced calls in Congress for quick reform.

Tierney said he is afraid "these problems go well beyond the walls of Walter Reed," adding that "as we send more and more troops into Iraq and Afghanistan, these problems are only going to get worse, not better."

A House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee hearing today at the hospital brought a wide range of apologies from top-level Army officers and the Army's No. 2 civilian. "We have let some soldiers down," said Peter Geren, the undersecretary of the Army.

Tierney, D-Mass., chairman of the panel, questioned whether problems at the facility are "just another horrific consequence" of inadequate planning that went into war in Iraq; a problem created by contracting out work there to private business, or some other cause.

"This is absolutely the wrong way to treat our troops, and serious reforms need to happen... immediately," he said.

Geren, who will become acting Army secretary later this week, told the panel that the revelations of poor conditions at Walter Reed had hurt the Army. Defense Secretary Robert Gates forced Army Secretary Francis Harvey to resign last week and he leaves his post on Friday.

Two former commanders at the facility said they accepted responsibility for the failures.

Maj. Gen. George W. Weightman, head of Walter Reed from August until he was fired last week said: "You can't fail one of these soldiers ... not one. And we did."

Lt. Gen. Kevin C. Kiley, Army surgeon general and head of Walter Reed until 2004, apologized for what he called housing conditions that did "not meet our standards." He said renovations were under way.

He also said a team had been sent to some 11 other installations around the country to make sure there are not similar housing problems.

Regarding bureaucratic delays, Kiley said the system for outpatient care is "complex, confusing and frustrating" and that more doctors, nurses and other staff are being brought in to lower the case load and so speed the process.

Lawmakers listened closely as several patients came to the hearing with stories of lax or poor treatment at Walter Reed:

Staff Sgt. John Daniel Shannon, who lost his left eye and suffered traumatic brain injuries from a rifle wound, said that after he was discharged from Walter Reed, he was given a map of the grounds and eventually found his way to outpatient quarters by wandering around and asking for directions.

Then, he says, he "sat in my room for a couple of weeks wondering when someone would contact" him about continuing treatment.

"My biggest concern is having young men and women who have had their lives shattered in service to their country ... get taken care of," Shannon said.

Annette McLeod told the committee that her husband, Cpl. Wendell McLeod, was originally sent to the wrong hospital after he was hit in the head with a steel door in Iraq and also suffered a head injury.

Once at Walter Reed, she said, he suffered delays in getting outpatient tests and treatment.

"My life was ripped apart the day that my husband was injured," she told the panel tearfully. The experience at Walter Reed made it "worse than anything I've had to sacrifice in my life."

Addressing war veterans today, Vice President Dick Cheney promised that the problems at Walter Reed will be fixed.

"There will be no excuses — only action," Cheney told a gathering of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. "And the federal bureaucracy will not slow that action down."

Weightman said several systems set up to monitor patient complaints and opinions had failed to uncover the problems. An anonymous survey at the end of January, for instance, showed patient satisfaction with case workers and physicians at 90 percent, he said.

"Almost none of these issues were raised," he said. "That's obviously a failure ... get the feedback we need."

The controversy started last month with a series of stories in The Washington Post, but lawmakers said reports of the failures go back several years.

Rep. Henry A. Waxman, D-Calif., said that in addition to several government audits, there was a February 2005 Salon magazine story on poor conditions at the hospital's psychiatric ward; a 2006 report on problems screening people with brain injuries and a 2005 think tank report criticizing the complex disability program.

'My question is: Where have you been?" Tierney asked, when the third panel of witnesses took their seats at the witness table. They were Geren, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker, and his vice chief, Gen. Richard Cody.

"We've got all these reports with all these alarm bells going off ... and the information doesn't seem to get up the line of command," said Waxman.

In a letter Sunday to Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., asked for an independent commission, possibly headed by former Secretary of State Colin Powell, to investigate all post-combat medical facilities and recommend changes. President Bush last week had ordered a comprehensive review of conditions.
I was born in a military health care facility. From that day to this, treatment has been bare-bones at best, and the facilities substandard and out-of-date.

My question has to be how come all of a sudden this is important to you libs NOW? Where've you been at least the past 47 years? Y'all try to politicize the climate, and now want to blame a bureaucratic problem on Bush/his administration/Republicans.

Stop running your mouthes and pointing fingers and fix the freakin' problem.

As an aside, you proponents of universal/socialized health care need to take a GOOD look at military health care because it's pretty-much what socialized medicine will look like. Mediocrity at its best.
 

boedicca

Uppity Water Nymph
Joined
Feb 12, 2007
Messages
55,650
Reaction score
17,725
Points
2,250
Location
The Land of Funk
Anhyone who advocates Socialized Medicine for the U.S. should consider the treatment vets are receiving. If vets are getting substandard care, what do you think its going to be like for poor working slobs?
 

CSM

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2004
Messages
6,907
Reaction score
708
Points
48
Location
Northeast US
Anhyone who advocates Socialized Medicine for the U.S. should consider the treatment vets are receiving. If vets are getting substandard care, what do you think its going to be like for poor working slobs?
Vets are not poor working slobs? (j/k)

The VA and military health care systems are about as "socialized" as it gets.
 

boedicca

Uppity Water Nymph
Joined
Feb 12, 2007
Messages
55,650
Reaction score
17,725
Points
2,250
Location
The Land of Funk
I think it can get worse. One can argue that the vets' healthcare is part of their compensation package for serving our country (it is, imo). It's likely that they are receiving better care than would be provided under a general entitlement system in which the health services are Gifts Of The State instead of compensation.
 

CSM

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2004
Messages
6,907
Reaction score
708
Points
48
Location
Northeast US
I think it can get worse. One can argue that the vets' healthcare is part of their compensation package for serving our country (it is, imo). It's likely that they are receiving better care than would be provided under a general entitlement system in which the health services are Gifts Of The State instead of compensation.
Absolutely! Folks have to remember that as with other government contracts, they will get the doctor who bid lowest and not necessarily the one who offers the best care...that will be a crap shoot! I also suspect many a doctor who graduates from medical school will look for more lucrative fields if we have socialized medicine...(like elective plastic surgery).
 

jillian

Princess
Joined
Apr 4, 2006
Messages
84,493
Reaction score
16,384
Points
2,220
Location
The Other Side of Paradise
Absolutely! Folks have to remember that as with other government contracts, they will get the doctor who bid lowest and not necessarily the one who offers the best care...that will be a crap shoot! I also suspect many a doctor who graduates from medical school will look for more lucrative fields if we have socialized medicine...(like elective plastic surgery).
But the problem here is that they privatized the services. Had about 100 workers doing what about 350 did prior. Not only that, but they gave the contract to the company that wasn't competent to deliver ice to New Orleans after Katrina. Seems kind of butt backwards to me.

I was listening to Gen. Eaton (ret.) speak last night on Bill Maher's show. I think he had it dead on. Just my feeling on the subject.
 

boedicca

Uppity Water Nymph
Joined
Feb 12, 2007
Messages
55,650
Reaction score
17,725
Points
2,250
Location
The Land of Funk
And how do think Socialized Medicine would be any different? It's not that private resources are providing outsourced services - it's that the government has Monopsony control. A single powerful buyer insisting on prices that are below cost (or at such lower profits as to provide disincentives for investment) ultimately results in lower quality of service.
 

dilloduck

Diamond Member
Joined
May 8, 2004
Messages
53,240
Reaction score
5,795
Points
1,850
Location
Austin, TX
I too deplore the conditions at Walter Reed Medical Center, "BUT" if what I am understanding is correct, which may not be the case, then it is the living quarters, not the actual hospital facilities that is in very bad disrepair. From what I can glean off the TV about the living quarters, they are a lot cleaner and in better condition than some of the VA hospitals in other parts of the country. Lets not concentrate on just this one that is in the limelight because it is in Washington DC, lets do them all. Most of the buildings and Dr. access across the country is a disgrace to our fighting troops.
The disgraceful way America has treated it's veterans has gone on FOR DECADES ! VA hospitals suck. The politicalisation of this issue is disgusting and niether party gets a pass for ths travesty. Fix em and chop the fingers off of anyone who wants to point blame at the other party.
 

trobinett

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2004
Messages
1,832
Reaction score
162
Points
48
Location
Arkansas, The Ozarks
But the problem here is that they privatized the services. Had about 100 workers doing what about 350 did prior. Not only that, but they gave the contract to the company that wasn't competent to deliver ice to New Orleans after Katrina. Seems kind of butt backwards to me.

I was listening to Gen. Eaton (ret.) speak last night on Bill Maher's show. I think he had it dead on. Just my feeling on the subject.
Hi jill, you were actually WATCHING Bill Maher's show? Ya know, that has been known to cause your eye brows to fall out, just thought you might want to know.

As to Katrina victims in NO, and being competent, unless you were delivering ice in a main line battle tank, I challenge anyone to get ice delivered under those conditions.
 

jillian

Princess
Joined
Apr 4, 2006
Messages
84,493
Reaction score
16,384
Points
2,220
Location
The Other Side of Paradise
Hi jill, you were actually WATCHING Bill Maher's show? Ya know, that has been known to cause your eye brows to fall out, just thought you might want to know.

As to Katrina victims in NO, and being competent, unless you were delivering ice in a main line battle tank, I challenge anyone to get ice delivered under those conditions.
Hi Trob! I always watch Bill Maher's show. heh! I just checked, though. My eybrows are still intact. :)

As for Katrina, we did better delivering goods after the tsunami than we did to our own people.

Certainly one doesn't reward incompetence. We pay more to this company than it cost us for the military to do it themselves and, even if one wanted to privatize, certainly there were other companies that could have bid for the maintenance services, I would think.
 

CSM

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2004
Messages
6,907
Reaction score
708
Points
48
Location
Northeast US
Hi Trob! I always watch Bill Maher's show. heh! I just checked, though. My eybrows are still intact. :)

As for Katrina, we did better delivering goods after the tsunami than we did to our own people.

Certainly one doesn't reward incompetence. We pay more to this company than it cost us for the military to do it themselves and, even if one wanted to privatize, certainly there were other companies that could have bid for the maintenance services, I would think.

Other companies cannot operate on the scale this company does...that is one of the problems.

Can you guess why the military does not do it themselves? I'll give you a hint: it has to do with downsizing and budget cuts.
 

trobinett

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2004
Messages
1,832
Reaction score
162
Points
48
Location
Arkansas, The Ozarks
Hi Trob! I always watch Bill Maher's show. heh! I just checked, though. My eybrows are still intact. :)

As for Katrina, we did better delivering goods after the tsunami than we did to our own people.

Certainly one doesn't reward incompetence. We pay more to this company than it cost us for the military to do it themselves and, even if one wanted to privatize, certainly there were other companies that could have bid for the maintenance services, I would think.
Point taken about the tsunami Jill, but remember we were dealing with Mr. Chocolate, and his somewhat tainted staff of professional screw ups.

I see this sea of yellow school buses, oh well, thats another story.

Can you name me just one?
 

jillian

Princess
Joined
Apr 4, 2006
Messages
84,493
Reaction score
16,384
Points
2,220
Location
The Other Side of Paradise
Point taken about the tsunami Jill, but remember we were dealing with Mr. Chocolate, and his somewhat tainted staff of professional screw ups.

I see this sea of yellow school buses, oh well, thats another story.

Can you name me just one?
Fair about NOLA, but we were also dealing with Bush's bud Brownie who should have stuck with the racing association.

Not my job to get open bids for the government, Trob. But my understanding is this was a "no bid". Can't be the best way to find out who's best for the job on any level. Though it is pretty good for croneyism.
 

William Joyce

Chemotherapy for PC
Joined
Jan 23, 2004
Messages
9,758
Reaction score
1,146
Points
190
Location
Caucasiastan
Jews and their gentile lackeys use our troops for their purposes. So it shouldn't come as a big surprise that they're too cheap to care for them when they've been used up. The Christian farmboys from Iowa missing legs revert to their status as objects of Jewish ridicule now that they're of no military use on behalf of Israel. The Talmud says, "even the best of the gentiles must be killed." And boy, do the Jews ever take this one to heart. Thanks, Jews. You guys sure are bringers of light to nations. You just forgot to mention the mushroom cloud that follows.
 

New Topics

Most reactions - Past 7 days

Forum List

Top