VA Hospitals: Our Veterans Deserve Better

Here is the deal. You serve your country in the army, marines, navy, or air force and in return your country takes care of your health needs. People who were in the reserves or National Guard may also qualify if he/she was called up for active duty.

The problem: the loyal men and women who served our country are not getting good (maybe even decent) health care. Want proof? Take a look at this article in the Washington Post titled, ” How Veterans Affairs failed to stop a pathologist who misdiagnosed 3,000 cases .” The article tells the story of chief pathologist Robert Morris Levy on the staff at the VA hospital in Fayetteville, Arkansas. It appears Dr. Levy was an alcoholic and his alcoholism affected his ability to correctly interpret tissue slides and perform other routine tasks normally handled by pathologists.

How bad was it? VA officials say Levy made 3,000 errors or misdiagnoses dating back to 2005. However, the number of those affected will be much greater, and the full repercussions of Levy’s actions may not be known for years. Federal prosecutors charged Levy, 53, last week with three counts of involuntary manslaughter in the deaths of three veterans. VA officials now acknowledge that he botched diagnoses of at least 15 patients who later died and 15 others whose health was seriously harmed.

My Take: Who was supervising this physician? Someone had to know he had a problem and that is was affecting his ability to perform his job…an important and potentially life-saving job. I get it that doctors are human but systems have to be in place which catch problem doctors (at the VA or elsewhere) before lives are lost. Veterans deserved better!

Dan Frith

Dan Frith

Dan Frith has over 25 years of experience representing individuals and families in cases of medical malpractice throughout Virginia. He has been named "Best Medical Malpractice Attorney" by Roanoker Magazine and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. To speak with Dan, contact him by email at dfrith@frithlawfirm.com.