AMVETS leaders were on Capitol Hill this morning for the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs hearing on the colonoscopy and endoscopy fiasco at VA health care facilities in Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida.
The VA reported that in surprise inspections of facilities around the country, fewer than half were in compliance with VA's new regulations. Lawmakers balked at the statistic and insisted that the VA must ensure that veterans are not exposed to blood-borne illnesses.
Several months ago, the VA announced that patients at three VA health care facilities in Murfreesboro, Tenn., Augusta, Ga., and Miami, Fla., may have been exposed to diseases such as Hepatitis and HIV through improperly sanitized endoscopy equipment. Since VA acknowledged the issue, all potentially-exposed patients have been notified and several have tested positive for these blood-borne illnesses.
During the hearing, the VA noted that while these veterans tested positive for these illnesses, there was no way to conclusively prove that they were contracted from contaminated medical equipment. According to Military Times, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki has promised to take appropriate disciplinary action against those responsible for the botched procedures.
To listen to audio from the hearing, Click Here.