Thursday, November 11, 2010

Saluting Our Veterans

The Veterans' Hospital in Puerto Rico is expected to receive $42 million dollars in funding to improve and expand health care services for the estimated 200,000 veterans who live on the island. Some of this money will be used to open new clinics in rural areas such as Utuado and ComerĂ­o, as well as in the islands of Vieques and Culebra. This additional funding is desperately needed, and comes at a time when many veterans have complained of inadequate medical services they've received at the Veterans' Hospital. Some of these complaints include the presence of unhygienic and inadequate medical equipment. In fact, the Office of the Inspector General of the Veterans' Affairs (VA) is currently investigating into the possible infection of veterans with venereal diseases, such as Hepatitis B and C, for those who were treated at the hospital between 2007 and 2009.

Sadly, such infection control breaches are not isolated to Puerto Rico. VA medical facilities in Florida, Georgia and Tennessee have also reported egregiously bad conditions. A friend of mine, who is a veteran of the Gulf War, has told me of his refusal to receive medical treatment at the Veterans' Hospital on the island. It's ironic when soldiers are willing to sacrifice their lives for their country but yet don't trust the quality of care offered to them once back home. Furthermore, with the thousands of soldiers who have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan, many of whom suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the demand for medical attention has outpaced the availability of services available. In saluting and honoring our veterans, we need to make sure they get the treatment and care that they deserve.

(Photo credit: Jae C. Hon/AP)


Reinaldo said...

Saludos a nuestros veteranos boricuas

Ainy said...

I just wanted to thank you for your blog. You write clearly and are very informative. Very readable. I am grateful because this is a way I can keep up with the island although I no longer live there. Thanks again!

adriana said...

Saludos Reinaldo y Ainy!

Gracias por sus comentarios y por leer mi blog.

Always great to hear from my readers! :)