Ignoring Health Protocols Could Mean Imprisonment For VA Employees

U.S. Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio) has been very vocal about ensuring the lapse in infection control protocols that occurred at the Dayton, Ohio Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Dental Clinic never happens again. He plans on introducing a bill that will outline punishments ranging from fines to imprisonment for VA medical personnel employees with such conduct.

Turner’s bill will allow the VA to send their employees to prison for up to 12 months should they be found “intentionally bypassing safeguards.” The “lapses” that happened in Dayton exposed hundreds of veterans to potentially infectious diseases. More than 500 veterans, some collecting veterans disability, who were patients at the Dayton VA Dental Clinic voluntarily submitted to VA-provided testing for HIV as well as hepatitis C and B. Three veterans have tested positive for hepatitis.

Allegations were made that a doctor at the facility not only refused to change gloves between patient visits, but he did not use sterilized equipment in his practice. The Dayton VA Dental Clinic closed following these claims being made in July 2010, but there were already hundreds of veterans who had been put at risk.

Aside from the obvious breach of care that particular doctor allegedly made in treating his patients, Rep. Turner is also upset the doctor was able to retire prior to the VA initiating any disciplinary action against him.

If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, a South Florida disability attorney from Veterans Help Group is ready to help. To learn if you are entitled to certain programs and benefits contact our veterans disability rights firm today 1-855-855-8992.