Women Veteran’s Health
In early October, the VA announced that it would begin work on closing the ‘gender gap’ in preventative health and screening services offered by the VA. For years, female veterans have felt unwelcome in VA hospitals and clinics as if they weren’t real veterans; finally, change is coming.
Dr. Patricia Hayes, chief consultant for Women Health Services for the Veterans Health Administration, stated that the VA plans to hire more gynecologists and other female health specialists in order to make female veterans feel more welcome at VA clinics and hospitals.
“We recognize that there has been a tremendous influx of women. We have beefed up and accomplished a lot, and we recognize we are still facing a large challenge ahead,” said Hayes, “They felt unwelcomed and invisible. We are changing that culture.”
In 2008, only 33% of VA health care facilities offered care to women, while today over 90% do. The VA has also extensively trained over 1,500 primary-care providers on comprehensive women’s health, a 40-hour program, training 35-40 providers at a time. The training covers topics such as birth control, and abnormal bleeding, but also addresses mental health issues such as PTSD in women and an overview of maternity care.
Recent surveys show that the VA’s strategy is working; based upon survey results from both males and females, veterans feel that VA health care exceeds the care offered in the private sector.
Dr. Hayes feels confident, “Word is getting out among women veterans that we have great care and more systems and services in place to make them feel comfortable using the VA.”
To learn more or see the original article, please visit: http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20121008/BIZ/710089957/1.
Tags: female health