Skip to comments.It Gets Worse: Dentist at VA Hospital May Have Infected Hundreds of Veterans With HIV
Posted on 12/01/2016 10:28:59 AM PST by SeekAndFind
For years veterans across the country have languished in VA hospitals, with thousands dying waiting for care. Suicide hotlines go unanswered and at least one hospital in Illinois, dead bodies were left in the morgue for months. Other hospitals are filled with black mold and roaches. Since the VA scandal broke two years ago, wait times haven't improved. At some hospitals wait times are now double what they were in 2014.
But it gets worse. According to a local news report from WEAU News 13, as many as 600 veterans may have been infected with life threatening, lethal and incurable diseases due to a lack of following basic health protocol at a Wisconsin VA hospital. Adding insult to injury, the allegedly responsible dentist wasn't fired but instead moved to an overpaid, administrative desk job where he likely continued to pay little care to veterans needing help.
The Tomah VA says it's in the process of notifying 592 veterans that they may be infected with Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, or HIV after they received care from one particular dental provider.
Acting Medical Center Director Victoria Brahm said the dentist was using his own equipment, then cleaning it and reusing it, which violates the VA's regulations.
The Tomah VA says it uses sterile and disposable equipment.
The VA says he did this for one year, from October 2015 through October 2016.
It came to light when someone filling in for his assistant noticed what was going on and reported it.
That dentist has been removed from patient care and is now working in an administrative role.
The VA also referred the case to the inspector general for assessment of any criminal charges.
"It was purposeful that he was violating VA regulations," Brahm said. "During all of the orientation, he used all of our equipment. He used it appropriately, so it was very purposeful from what we found in our investigation that he knew exactly what he was doing, and preferred to use his own equipment against procedure."
This horrifying story is just another example of a lack of accountability plaguing the VA system and the consequences are lethal. How did this guy get through 592 patients before someone said anything? And why the hell was he shifted to a desk job instead of immediately fired and investigated for putting people's lives at risk?
President-elect Donald Trump is currently vetting candidates for VA Secretary. Army veteran Pete Hegseth, who has been a VA reform advocate for years, is on his short list.
Dentists need to follow the correct procedures.
And THIS is the model liberals want for all American health care.
Should be removed from the planet, not just patient care.
Uuuummmmm, well....Tammy Duckworth Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs from November 21, 2006, to February 8, 2009 — Some of this had to have been going on back then...has anyone in the media asked her about this.
Army veteran Pete Hegseth, who has been a VA reform advocate for years, is on his short list.
Oh good...I can’t understand why some want mitt romneycare in charge
I hope to God he was not also practicing at the VA in Milwaukee. I pray that his acts did not cause his patients to contract a disease. And, why in hell is he not being charged and dismissed??????
And, what about his assistant? What is happening to them for not reporting it?
I posted this on another thread as well
Im not a Veteran, so am simply looking for opinions here.
I see the VA much like HUD housing and welfare. It seems to be a low-cost (indeed, its free) but very low-quality social welfare program, designed to rope yet another group into the government dependency plantation.
Arent there other options? Such as private care vouchers? Tax-free status for independent veterans/health-care groups offering care? Certainly, anyone who suffered wounds caused by their service to Uncle Sam should be taken care of, but are there other options besides funneling all into a vast government bureaucracy?
I am betting the guy is Homosexual.
I’m not seeing a name. Who was this dentist and why are they not forthcoming with a name?
President Trump needs to make a move similar to President Reagan and de-unionize the entire VA system.
It is the F@#KING UNIONS that is keeping these $#!tbags from being fired!!!
OF what? Gardening and watering the white house lawn?
Pete Hegseth is too experienced to run the VA. He also has no experience in healthcare. The man is 36 years old and was in charge of a veterans advocacy group for a few years, but certainly nothing to prepare him to manage and clear and straighten out something like the VA. A retired general needs to be put in charge of the VA, preferably one who’s career was in health core.
This is a poorly written article. Same with the link in the article to another source. It says that the VA dentists are supposed to use ‘sterile and disposable’ equipment. They might use a combination of sterile and disposable equipment but by far not all equipment is disposable. Most of it is sanitized after each use in an autoclave. It sounds more as if the dentist was using his own equipment (the va buys cheap, inferior dental equipment that dentists and hygienists don’t like using - it’s inferior because a bureaucracy decides what to buy and at what price) and then not sanitizing it in an autoclave or he was just using his own equipment and using the VA or his his own autoclave (which article doesn’t say either). If he was using his own equipment but also using the autoclave that’s one thing but if he wasn’t cleaning it that’s another.
The VA should not exist as a health care provider except possibly for specialized care (physical medicine, the specialized post amputation centers, and the like that are not as good in the private sector). The rest can be outsourced to private providers which would be much more convenient for veterans and can likely be done at lower cost *if* the 90 percent of the VA workers who are not medical providers are also let go. What works against this is the VA is a giant jobs program and the employees would vote to protect their interests. Only around 10 percent of their employees being actual medical providers.
The VA should exist to payout compensation claims for valid life altering service connected disabilities, healthcare at private providers except perhaps for the more specialized care, and to
provide other services to at risk veterans. There’s great people at the VA but it’s also a giant bureaucracy that has many bad apples (far less than there were 15-20 years ago though) and no easy way to get rid of them other than through a long termination process or waiting for them to retire. Another problem is that the VA pays their medical management, ie, the health care professionals that are in management a very low premium above what they earn as regular providers (doctors or nurses) at the VA especially compared to private sector. Provider vs management is around 7%. Because it’s a huge hassle to be in management in the VA you end up with bad management since many of the people that would be great in the roles stay as providers. The flip side of this is that the non-professionals who are in management (think directors and the like) are overpaid relative to their skills and a private sector comparison. It’s like this across government though.
Missed my last little bit.
Looking sharp America!
That was my first thought too. A homosexual dentist has done this before.
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