Medical Care in the New River Valley and Southwest Virginia
I posted a blog in April of 2016 about my ties to Blacksburg and the New River Valley, and my concerns over the quality of medical care provided to the fine folks who live in those areas. A reader of that post asked me to be more specific about my comments and, while protecting the confidentiality of patients and their health care providers, I quickly searched the Virginia Department of Health Professions’ (VDHP) website for documented cases involving health care providers in Southwest Virginia. The purpose of the VDHP is to ensure safe and competent patient care by licensing health professionals, enforcing standards of practice, and providing information to health care practitioners and the public. My search was limited to cases during the last 16 months (April 2016 through July 2017) and what follows is a list of cases and/or actions by the department and locations:
Abingdon – 5
Big Stone Gap – 1
Bluefield – 3
Clintwood – 2
Galax – 2
Marion – 3
Norton – 5
Pembroke – 2
The list totals 23 matters in 16 months. This list doesn’t include cases against dentists, nurses, pharmacists, optometrists, or hospitals. Even more important, substantially all of the medical negligence cases we handle in the New River Valley and Southwest Virginia never end up with a report to, or decision by, the Virginia Department of Health Professions. In other words, it is unlikely many of the above “cases’ resulted in a filed medical malpractice claim.
My Take: The good people of the New River Valley and Southwest Virginia are not getting good medical care.