This video from the USA is called Dr. Ira Katz, the VA’s mental health chief, tried to cover up rising number of veteran suicides.
By Naomi Spencer:
US: Veteran turned away from military hospital commits suicide
28 July 2008
On July 7, a Navy veteran suffering from psychological problems hanged himself after being turned away from the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Spokane, Washington. A July 20 report by the Spokesman-Review notes that the death of Lucas Senescall was the sixth suicide this year of veterans under care of the Spokane Veterans Administration (VA).
In spite of lawsuits, legislation and countless pledges from officials for improved care, thousands of US veterans who return from occupied Iraq and Afghanistan bearing profound mental trauma continue to be denied adequate treatment. According to data from the advocacy group Veterans for Common Sense, the VA is currently treating 325,000 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans, including nearly 134,000 for mental health problems.
One in four veterans wait for over a month to see a VA doctor, and the average waiting period for disability payments is six months, VA and Veterans Benefits Administration data suggest.
By Barbara Ehrenreich in the USA:
The Suicide Solution
Suicide is becoming an increasingly popular response to debt. James Scurlock‘s brilliant documentary, Maxed Out, features the families of two college students who killed themselves after being overwhelmed by credit card debt. “All the people we talked to had considered suicide at least once,” Scurlock told a gathering of the National Assocition of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys in 2007. According to the Los Angeles Times, lawyers in the audience backed him up, “describing clients who showed up at their offices with cyanide, or threatened, ‘If you don’t help me, I’ve got a gun in my car.'”
This Iraq vet was killed in a SWAT shootout after his local VA delayed his health care for over six months.
NYT: ‘SMALLER MILITARY HOSPITALS PUT PATIENTS AT RISK’ “These small and underused hospitals are the focus of an evolving Pentagon plan to scale back the system — entirely separate from the scandal-plagued veterans health system — by converting some of them into either outpatient clinics or birthing centers. The downsizing plan has not been made public, but Winn was among the hospitals listed in a draft distributed internally last spring and obtained by The Times.” This graphic details complication rates at each of the hospitals. [NYT]