Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America

JWV Demands Better Health Care for Veterans

June 2009

The Jewish War Veterans of the USA (JWV) demands a thorough and complete examination of brachytherapy procedures and other practices at all VA hospitals after the revelation of a rogue cancer unit that operated for several years at the Philadelphia VA Hospital.

A recent study by the New York Times has disclosed "a rogue cancer unit at the hospital, one that operated with virtually no outside scrutiny and botched 92 of 116 cancer treatments over a span of more than six years - and then kept quiet about it, according to interviews with investigators, government officials and public records."

The investigation revealed an absence of peer review, a lack of intervention by all groups that regularly monitor the safety of radiation programs, and improper supervision of the unit, which was staffed by outside contractors who had limited experience in this particular therapy, often used in the treatment of prostate cancer.

Although the first clues concerning serious mistakes in treatment surfaced in 2003, only recently has the extent of the problem come to light.

In light of this revelation and revelations earlier this year that patients at VA hospitals in Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee were exposed to and tested positive for HIV and hepatitis during routine screening procedures, the JWV demands a comprehensive evaluation of all VA facilities.

The men and women treated at VA hospitals have earned the finest treatment available through their service to their country. That they are receiving sub-standard and even dangerous treatment instead is a disgrace that the Department of Veterans Affairs must confront and correct immediately.

Our veterans, who have given their best to this country, deserve the best that our medical system has to offer. Anything less is not acceptable.

JWV National Commander Ira Novoselsky expressed his dismay at the revelation of this ongoing medical malfeasance: "Our veterans deserve the best treatment, not a cover-up of insufficiently-monitored treatment that caused additional pain and suffering for our veterans. While the VA has already briefed Congress on this problem, more must be done to monitor the VA medical care system at all facilities."


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