Months after pledging to improve U.S. veterans care, the Bush administration has yet to
find clear answers to some of the worst problems afflicting wounded warriors, such as
delays in disability payments and providing personalized care, government investigators reported.
A report by the Government Accountability Office offers the first preliminary assessment
of improvement efforts initiated by the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments after
revelations in February of shoddy outpatient treatment at Walter Reed Army Medical Center
The report found that even though the Army has touted creation of more
personalized-medical-care units so that wounded veterans do not slip through the cracks,
nearly half46%of returning service members who were eligible did not get the service due
to staffing shortages.
The report said after 10 years of review, the Pentagon and VA still remain far away from
having a comprehensive system for sharing medical records as injured veterans move between
facilities. And despite months of review by no less than eight congressional committees, a
presidential task force, a presidential commission, the Pentagon and the VA itself, the
government has no apparent solution for reducing severe delays of 177 days, on average, in
providing disability payments. -- by the Associated Press