Veterans Affairs health services are being utilized more and more by a new genre of soldier: young women. More specifically, the VA is treating more and more female veterans in their 20’s who have served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. As a perspective, 1 VA medical center in Martinsville, WV currently treats twice the amount of female veterans as it did prior to the September 11 terrorist attacks.
The administrators of the Martinsville VA medical center have taken note of this fact and have opened a specialized women’s clinic. Their design of the clinic is completely geared towards women from the color of the paint to the size of the prosthetics kept in stock.
The VA health care system is littered with issues peculiar to female veterans. Examples of these problems are lack of privacy for such acts as bathing and physical examinations. The VA health care system is currently designed to care for the aging male population and must make drastic changes in order to deal with the new influx of much younger female veterans.
The majority of women who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan are under 40 years old. In the last year, VA health clinics saw a 12% increase in the amount of female veterans they treated. Currently, female veterans represent just 1 of every 16 veterans. Fifteen years from now, that number is projected to be 1 in every 7. The VA must adapt to this new existence.