VA Department: Not enough services for women veterans

Nearly a quarter of VA hospitals doesn't have a full-time gynecologist.

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The Veterans Affairs Department admits it doesn’t offer enough services for women veterans. Nearly a quarter of VA hospitals doesn’t have a full-time gynecologist.

The Northampton VA couldn’t speak with 22News on Monday, but veterans advocates at Soldier On confirmed they do offer OB-GYN services.

The biggest problem is women veterans aren’t applying for VA benefits when they return from war and are thinking of starting a family.

Soldier On Women’s Program Director Katie Doherty said women veterans are also most at risk of becoming homeless. By the time Soldier On is able to find these at-risk women it’s too late for preventive measures, like mammograms.

Katie Doherty, the Women’s Program Consultant at Solider On, said, “Being so fragile and having such serious healthcare issues. Our problem with them is by the time we get them services, they’re usually so far along with their sickness.”

Doherty said other women veterans have MassHealth, which means they can get gynecology appointments outside the VA system.

While the number of men using VA programs far surpasses that of women, the number of women getting care at the VA has doubled in the past decade.

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