Up until 1946, veterans who felt they were victims of medical malpractice that occurred at a VA medical center were unable to sue. Thankfully Congress passed the Federal Tort Claims Act that year, which gave veterans the right to seek compensation from the federal government for the injuries they suffered at the hands of federal employees.
Recent information released by The Project on Government Oversight takes a look at the medical malpractice claims filed against VA medical centers across the nation between 1989 and 2008. That information brought some good news for the VA facility in Syracuse.
The statistics show that during that period of time there have been 31 claims filed against the Syracuse VA. Of those claims, 10 involved patient deaths. In total, the VA paid out some $2 million in claims; $1.56 million in cases that went to court and nearly $500,000 for cases that were resolved administratively.
Compared to other hospitals, these numbers were relatively low. A manager from the VA says the numbers are a reflection of the quality of care that they work to provide at the Syracuse VA. Another manager pointed out that the patient satisfaction numbers at the VA were consistently among the highest when compared to other VA medical centers.
The claims from that 19-year period included numerous allegations, such as wrong diagnosis, failure to recognize symptoms, misdiagnosis and delay in treatment. While it’s good to hear that our local VA is working hard to minimize malpractice, each individual case is still a tragic occurrence for the victims involved.
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