A Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital has failed to give basic care to 111,000 veterans while at the same time boasting of their 20 person transgender program. Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center hospital failed to provide basics like clean medical equipment and properly trained employees, according to government auditors.
An Inspect General (IG) report stated that “We could not gain reasonable assurance that clinical managers effectively monitor the professional competency of providers … patient equipment is clean … [and] employees ensure a safe and healthy environment.”
By contrast, the hospital was been lauded for its efforts in transgender care. The Daily Caller recounts:
The hospital in question was the subject of positive news coverage in late 2015, with a publicity campaign surrounding the opening of a “clinic for transgender patients.” Veterans are able to receive taxpayer-funded sex change hormones, CBS News reported at the time.
“Opening this transgender clinic allows us to continue to provide compassionate care in a space dedicated specifically to transgender veterans,” Susan Fuehrer, the hospital’s director, told the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
While the 20 patients in the transgender program may be well treated, the remaining patients have been neglected even rudimentary quality of care. The IG found “system weaknesses in credentialing and privileging, utilization management, patient safety, environmental cleanliness … and Mental Health Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program processes”
The former hospital director was jailed in 2016 for taking bribes for government contracts. Another member of staff was found guilty for physically assaulting a patient after an argument, but the hospital would not confirm that the employee has been fired.