Veteran soldiers have been receiving medical care since the World War II. During the war, quite a large number of soldiers got injured. Some were even deceased as a result. For these reason medical care was availed to the soldiers to ensure that they were well cared for. This medical care was provided free of charge to the soldiers and in some cases the soldiers benefited from the medical care even after they were discharged from the service. However, there were some conditions which were considered before one could benefit from the medical services. These conditions were to be the key factors to be considered during the process of awarding medical benefits to the war veterans. Some of these conditions included the following. If a veteran soldier was wounded during the war and the wounds caused a permanent disability due to injuries acquired from the war, the veteran was entitled to a lifetime medical care (Priest and Hull, 14).
The Situation during World War 2
During the war some of the veterans were exposed to mental shock that needed psychological attention. Due to this reason the soldiers were to be given quality mental health that would see them through these conditions. These benefits were received in terms of monthly pension for the permanently disabled veterans due to injuries or due to disease that was acquired during the wars. These benefits were supposed to be an incentive to the war veterans who took part in various wars from World War II, Vietnam war to Iraq and Afghanistan war. But the question is do this veterans receive these benefits in terms of medical services as stated?
According to Wheeler and Thomas (308), during the Second World War the war veterans were entitled to medical care during and after the war. The injured or the diseased soldiers were given special medical attention in the process of war. During this second war, airplanes were the most preferred mode of transferring the wounded soldiers to the hospitals for treatment. It is imperative to note that there were varying situations in the various hospitals that offered medical care to the war veterans. Among the most notable deplorable conditions was in the Walter Reed hospital in the US where injured veterans were more often than not caught in a Catch 22 situation. There was a much messed up bureaucratic situation which would only be compared to the battlefield where the soldiers were fighting. Many of the soldiers brought in the hospitals were being taken care of by other wounded soldiers owing to the fact that here were minimal practitioners in the medical camps. The soldiers who faced psychological disorders were the ones put in charge of more suicidal patients brought in the facilities.
Improvement in Medical care now
There has been a very considerable improvement in the quality of health care that the war veterans have received In Iraq. It has been noted especially by the third eye or otherwise the media that wounded soldiers in Iraq who would probably not have survived under normal conditions are now surviving thanks to the high standards of medical care given to the wounded soldiers. According to a report by Shapiro (67), although close to 47% of the respondents feel that there is a high quality of medication offered for the wounded soldiers in the front line in Iraq than in the military hospitals immediately they get back to the US, there are also a number of people who feel that the wounded soldiers do not get quality treatment on the front lines, this was represented by 43%. It has been also reported that a majority of Americans whose family member has been serving in the military carry a negative opinion of the military facilities with 41% believing that the care given in the military facilities is worse.
Recent efforts to improve medical care for veterans
During the 2008 presidential campaigns, there was a highly contested debate that was centered at bringing to the forefront the issue of compensating the veterans. According to the Harvard School of Public Health (23) the issue of dissatisfaction in the health care services offered in the medical facilities became a major issue in the presidential campaigns. This would particularly affect the majority of the voters who had family members working in the military. During the World War 2, there were many veterans who suffered in quest of securing their countries. As such, many of them suffered work related injuries and consequent disability; many were exposed to chemicals that affected them in more than one way. Recently, there have been considerable government efforts to compensate the veterans who grossly suffered, there were those who were exposed t atomic bomb blasts during training and therefore developed high cancer rates. In a camp in LeJeune, families of the military men and women have suffered from cancer owing to the high risk occasioned by the carcinogens buried on the ground by the government (Priest and Hull, 18).
Financial Implications for poor medical care
Economists in the US have attributed the ongoing cases of poor medication on the veterans to improper government incentives thanks to the myopic eye of the finance docket. According to a recent study by Harvard University, there is a very serious financial implication of the war in Iraq as well as Afghanistan that if care is not taken, there is going to be a meltdown in the Department of Veterans Affairs the arm charged with the duty of taking care of the war veterans in the United States of America. According to the study, the Veterans Association is underfunded as well as under-equipped to tackle issues to do with the current and future financial implications of the veteran’s healthcare. This will no doubt mean that in there is a high likelihood that there will continue being a deteriorated service offered to the veterans since there are not enough infrastructures to deal with the ever increasing number of cases.
Literature on the situation
Just like during the World War 2 however, there has been no major change in the kind of care give to the war veterans. For instance, during the world war 2, military officers in Vietnam received medical care fee of close to USD 5,000, this at that point in time was quite a lot of money that would sustain them, unfortunately, even as the economic times get harder, this amount has not been reviewed and as such, the officers are subjected to a very pathetic condition.
The study further estimates there are almost 16 soldiers who get wounded in every fatal situation ever since the beginning of Global War on Terror. This is a casualty rate which exceeds the statistics of previous wars (Priest and Hull, 23).
The findings of this report were that at least 200,000 soldiers who had been deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan got treatment at the Veterans Association’s medical facility. In this regard, this study further predicts a sky rocketing in the cost of medical care as well as compensation targeting the returning veterans to up to seven hundred billion dollars. Perhaps it would give a more insightful look if we considered veteran fighters all over the world as the single most people who gave birth to many independent nations today. It is also a more insightful approach if we considered the fact there are indeed many more veteran fighters who until today have strongly upheld the mantle in ensuring that the light of stability in many wore torn countries is upheld (Harvard School of Public Health, 23).
In conclusion therefore, the question that therefore arises is to what extent the independent governments have and other agencies done to ensure that these fighters have been well taken care of. There is an African proverb that states that it is only a fool who sits on a plate that has fed him. It is in this regard that I would love to mention categorically that the government should be keen in ensuring that war veterans have been accorded the best medications since they protect a country more than any other citizen.
The fact that there are more veterans who suffered than those who survived means that there should be a system of rewarding them not only financially through compensation for the injuries they suffered but a good medical system that would assure them of their health tomorrow. Today, many governments and especially the United States have considered improving the Veteran Association facilities to cater for the health needs of the soldiers in the event of injuries in their course of duty.