A-7057, MARCH 10, 1925, 4 COMP. GEN. 744

A-7057: Mar 10, 1925

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MEDICAL TREATMENT IN CONTRACT HOSPITALS - VETERANS OF ANY WAR CONTRACT HOSPITALS ARE NOT "EXISTING GOVERNMENT FACILITIES" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE SECOND PART OF SUBSECTION 10 OF PARAGRAPH 202 OF THE WORLD WAR VETERANS' ACT OF JUNE 7. 1925: REFERENCE IS HAD TO YOUR REQUEST OF FEBRUARY 20. THE AUTHORITY TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL HOSPITAL FACILITIES BY CONTRACT IS FOUND IN SECTION 10 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 7. IN THE FOLLOWING LANGUAGE: IN THE EVENT GOVERNMENT HOSPITAL FACILITIES ARE INSUFFICIENT OR INADEQUATE THE DIRECTOR MAY CONTRACT WITH STATE. OR THE LOSS OF SIGHT OF BOTH EYES REGARDLESS WHETHER SUCH AILMENTS OR DISEASES ARE DUE TO MILITARY SERVICE OR OTHERWISE. THE DIRECTOR IS FURTHER AUTHORIZED.

A-7057, MARCH 10, 1925, 4 COMP. GEN. 744

MEDICAL TREATMENT IN CONTRACT HOSPITALS - VETERANS OF ANY WAR CONTRACT HOSPITALS ARE NOT "EXISTING GOVERNMENT FACILITIES" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE SECOND PART OF SUBSECTION 10 OF PARAGRAPH 202 OF THE WORLD WAR VETERANS' ACT OF JUNE 7, 1924, 43 STAT. 620, SUCH AS MAY BE USED FOR THE TREATMENT OF VETERANS OF ANY WAR, MILITARY OCCUPATION OR EXPEDITION, NOT DISHONORABLY DISCHARGED, IRRESPECTIVE OF THE NATURE AND ORIGIN OF THEIR DISABILITIES.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE DIRECTOR, UNITED STATES VETERANS' BUREAU, MARCH 10, 1925:

REFERENCE IS HAD TO YOUR REQUEST OF FEBRUARY 20, 1925, FOR A DECISION ON THE FOLLOWING UESTION:

WHETHER THE WORDS "GOVERNMENT FACILITIES" IN THE SECOND PART OF SUBDIVISION 10 (SEC. 202, ACT OF JUNE 7, 1924) INCLUDES CONTRACT HOSPITALS AND AUTHORIZES HOSPITALIZATION OF HONORABLY DISCHARGED VETERANS OF ANY WAR, MILITARY OCCUPATION OR EXPEDITION.

THE AUTHORITY TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL HOSPITAL FACILITIES BY CONTRACT IS FOUND IN SECTION 10 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 7, 1924, 43 STAT. 610, IN THE FOLLOWING LANGUAGE:

IN THE EVENT GOVERNMENT HOSPITAL FACILITIES ARE INSUFFICIENT OR INADEQUATE THE DIRECTOR MAY CONTRACT WITH STATE, MUNICIPAL, OR, IN EXCEPTIONAL CASES, WITH PRIVATE HOSPITALS FOR SUCH MEDICAL, SURGICAL, AND HOSPITAL SERVICES AND SUPPLIES AS MAY BE REQUIRED, AND SUCH CONTRACTS MAY BE MADE FOR A PERIOD OF NOT EXCEEDING THREE YEARS AND MAY BE FOR THE USE OF A WARD OR OTHER HOSPITAL UNIT OR ON SUCH OTHER BASIS AS MAY BE IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE BENEFICIARIES UNDER THIS ACT.

SECTION 202, SUBSECTION 10, OF THE ACT OF JUNE 7, 1924, 43 STAT. 620, PROVIDES:

THAT ALL HOSPITAL FACILITIES UNDER THE CONTROL AND JURISDICTION OF THE BUREAU SHALL BE AVAILABLE FOR EVERY HONORABLY DISCHARGED VETERAN OF THE SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR, THE PHILIPPINE INSURRECTION, THE BOXER REBELLION, OR THE WORLD WAR SUFFERING FROM NEUROPSYCHIATRIC OR TUBERCULAR AILMENTS AND DISEASES PARALYSIS AGITANS, ENCEPHALITIS LETHARGICA OR AMOEBIC DYSENTERY, OR THE LOSS OF SIGHT OF BOTH EYES REGARDLESS WHETHER SUCH AILMENTS OR DISEASES ARE DUE TO MILITARY SERVICE OR OTHERWISE, INCLUDING TRAVELING EXPENSES AS GRANTED TO THOSE RECEIVING COMPENSATION AND HOSPITALIZATION UNDER THIS ACT. THE DIRECTOR IS FURTHER AUTHORIZED, SO FAR AS HE SHALL FIND THAT EXISTING GOVERNMENT FACILITIES PERMIT, TO FURNISH HOSPITALIZATION AND NECESSARY TRAVELING EXPENSES TO VETERANS OF ANY WAR, MILITARY OCCUPATION, OR MILITARY EXPEDITION SINCE, 1897, NOT DISHONORABLY DISCHARGED WITHOUT REGARD TO THE NATURE OR ORIGIN OF THEIR DISABILITIES: PROVIDED, THAT PREFERENCE TO ADMISSION TO ANY GOVERNMENT HOSPITAL FOR HOSPITALIZATION UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL BE GIVEN TO THOSE VETERANS WHO ARE FINANCIALLY UNABLE TO PAY FOR HOSPITALIZATION AND THEIR NECESSARY TRAVELING EXPENSES.

IT WILL BE NOTED THAT THIS SECTION OF THE WORLD WAR VETERANS' ACT CONTAINS TWO DISTINCT PROVISIONS--- THE FIRST RENDERS AVAILABLE "ALL HOSPITAL FACILITIES UNDER THE CONTROL AND JURISDICTION OF THE BUREAU" FOR THE TREATMENT OF CERTAIN VETERANS OF SPECIFIED WARS SUFFERING FROM PARTICULAR DISEASES. SEE DECISION OF JANUARY 5, 1925, 4 COMP. GEN. 586, AND UNPUBLISHED DECISION OF JANUARY 21, 1925, A-5301.

AS TO THE SECOND PROVISION OF SUBSECTION 10, SECTION 202, SUPRA, THE RIGHT OF VETERANS OF ANY WAR SINCE 1897 TO TREATMENT, IRRESPECTIVE OF THE NATURE AND ORIGIN OF THEIR DISABILITIES, IS DEPENDENT UPON A FINDING BY THE DIRECTOR THAT "EXISTING GOVERNMENT FACILITIES" PERMIT OF SUCH TREATMENT, AND AS THE AUTHORITY TO CONTRACT WITH STATE, MUNICIPAL, OR PRIVATE HOSPITALS FOUND IN SECTION 10 OF THE ACT IS GRANTED ONLY WHEN "GOVERNMENT HOSPITAL FACILITIES ARE INSUFFICIENT," IT IS EVIDENT THAT THE ACT DID NOT CONTEMPLATE THE USE OF CONTRACT HOSPITALS TO FURNISH THE TREATMENT AUTHORIZED UNDER THE SECOND PART OF SUBSECTION 10 OF PARAGRAPH 202 OF THE WORLD WAR VETERANS' ACT. YOUR SUBMISSION IS ANSWERED ACCORDINGLY.