VA Still Experiencing Problems Meeting the Needs of Veterans with Brain Injury
A recent story by Hope Yen, states that veteran’s needs post-TBI are still not being met. After a study of 52 VA TBI patients during a seven month post injury period in 2004, and the 2006 IG review which found problems 16 months post injury, the VA had promised to address the shortcomings.
The article shares “10 of the 41 veterans who agreed to be interviewed said they weren’t getting needed help for health care, vocational rehabilitation, family support or housing. At least four patients specifically cited trouble in getting primary or specialty eye care, while others reported gaps with family counseling for problems such as depression and anger”.
“This is very troubling,” said Michael O’Rourke, assistant director for veterans health policy at Veterans of Foreign Wars. “The fact of the matter is from the very beginning VA and Defense went in with too little, too short (on resources), because they weren’t expecting this to be a prolonged conflict of war.
“I’ve seen a lot of effort to correct problems that exist. But constant vigilance is required,” he said. “Veterans deserve to be treated for problems they may or may not know of.”
The report included a VA response in which the department acknowledged problems with case management but stated that with recent improvements it now had “systems in place to ensure that all veterans with TBI are being followed as their clinical needs require.”
According to the article in an attempt to improve care the VA is proposing to call “570,000 recent combat veterans to make sure they know what services are available to them”.