The Veteran Health Care Crisis
Our military personnel are subject to working and living conditions unlike any other workers, conditions that may be toxic to their health and—sometimes—to their families’ health as well. As Veterans, they bear both the visible and invisible wounds to prove it.
This is a simple fact: Young people enter the service as the healthiest of the healthy, but when they get out a few years later, most of them still in their late twenties or early thirties, about four out of five will report a chronic condition they didn’t have when they enlisted, even if they’ve never seen a battlefield.
The Veterans Administration Treats
Only a Fraction of the Warrior Community.
The Private Hospital System is Not
Prepared to Treat the Warrior Community.
Most facilities are neither aware of this vulnerable and underserved population nor prepared to treat them optimally:
Only 57% of private hospitals screen for veteran status and only 10% utilize the data to identify care gaps.
Their providers may lack the cultural competencies needed to communicate effectively with them.
Military personnel are trained to “drive on”. Complaints and excuses are simply unacceptable. Veterans retain these (and other) elements of military culture, making diagnosis difficult for healthcare providers unaware of a patient’s Veteran status and ignorant of cultural cues.