The VA healthcare system is the largest healthcare provider in the U.S. As of late, even for a huge system, there have been a disturbing number of surgical providers who have routinely harmed patients by committing serial mistakes and standard of care breaches. In certain of these cases, the VA took years to remove the physicians, during which time patients suffered repeated injuries due to shoddy and substandard surgical practices. In most of these cases, the offending surgeons violated the VA’s requirements of informed consent, a protective measure that is oftentimes overlooked when a Veteran seeks service connection for a medical error committed by a VA practitioner.
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The PACT Act is somewhat misunderstood. First, it is a great help to Veterans who have been fighting for service connection for many years, as it removes the key hurdle to establish service connection. However, the PACT Act does not establish new or different benefits; instead, it ensures Veterans who served in Vietnam, Iraq, or Afghanistan (among other locations) are presumptively service-connected for certain disabilities related to service in those locations.
Continue reading “What Veterans Need to Know About the PACT Act”