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Veterans Affairs says it’s improving services for women veterans

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It’s troubling to hear radio reports and read newspaper articles about the problems women veteran’s experience, including sexual assault.

Women make up 8 percent of military veterans and within 10 years that’s expected to double.

The Department of Veterans Affairs is working on improving its services for women veterans as the government braces for an increasing demand for services from them, reports The Washington Post article “VA Is Stepping Up Its Services for Female Veterans.”

At a conference in Washington, D.C., this week, clinicians, benefits experts, VA leaders, and veterans discussed the problems women veterans face including:

Injuries from explosions while driving in convoys.
  • Sexual assaults.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Severe back pain and other musculoskeletal problems from carrying up to 80-pound of gear.
  • Problems with the fitting of artificial limbs.
  • Difficulties getting benefits.
Each of the 144 veterans health-care systems in the country now has a full-time care manager for women, the article reports. In addition, primary care is being redesigned so a single physician addresses preventive care, routine gynecological care, and other medical issues for women. Health-care providers can now enroll in refresher courses on women's health needs, and more training is scheduled.

The agency also launched a $5.6 million study last fall of women who served in the Vietnam War to explore the effects on their mental and physical health.

I hope these efforts improve the lives of women veterans. It’s certainly time for more efforts to be made on their behalf.

Copyright 2010, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist

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