VA Health Care For Women:

Despite Progress, Improvements Needed

HRD-92-23: Published: Jan 23, 1992. Publicly Released: Feb 3, 1992.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) progress in improving health care services for female veterans, focusing on: (1) VA progress following a 1982 GAO report; and (2) the remaining barriers that restrict women's access to health care.

GAO found that: (1) since 1982, VA has made significant progress in ensuring that female veterans' access to health care is equal to that of male veterans; (2) VA created an Advisory Committee on Women Veterans and appointed a women veterans coordinator at each medical center, which resulted in increased emphasis on identifying and correcting problems; (3) physical examinations, including cancer screening for female veterans, continue to be sporadic; (4) VA medical centers are inadequately monitoring in-house mammography programs to ensure compliance with the American College of Radiology's standards; (5) centers have inadequate procedures to ensure that patient privacy limitations affecting female patients are identified and corrected during renovations; and (6) it could not identify any programs that were unable to accommodate female patients.

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