An internal VA study found that female veterans have more difficulty obtaining quality outpatient healthcare than their male counterparts. According to the Associated Press, everything from physicians trained in women’s health, to mammography services, and to mental health counseling for women, are inadequate.
The Star-Telegram reports there may be a double-standard in diagnosing women with PTSD. Doctors may assume that since women are barred from serving on the front lines, they are not traumatized. The Star-Telegram further reports the VA is not equipped to recognize or treat sexual trauma, which affects at least one in five female veterans.
Women are now serving in the military at a higher rate than ever before. The Associated Press reports that women make up 17% of the armed services, and 11% of those serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. This is consistent with the information that the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee has heard from female veterans.
Media Resources: Associated Press 6/13/2008, Star-Telegram 6/16/2008