Blumenthal condemns VA hospital ‘deficiencies’

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) demanded that a Connecticut Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital clean up its “unsafe and unsanitary” conditions.

“Our veterans deserve nothing less than the best, world class medicine this nation has to offer,” Blumenthal said Wednesday. “As a member of the Veterans Affairs Committee, I will insist that these deficiencies be addressed — immediately and permanently.”

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Blumenthal’s comments came after he reviewed an inspector general report that identified poor conditions at the VA hospital in West Haven, Conn.

“I am deeply concerned and troubled by this Inspector General's report,” Blumenthal said. “The deficiencies revealed at this facility put veterans at real risk.”

The IG report found that unsanitary conditions at the hospital were putting patients at risk of contagious diseases because staff was using unclean equipment.

“These alarming failings in essential protections against infection and improper care are simply intolerable,” Blumenthal said. “Unsafe and unsanitary conditions at this hospital potentially exposed patients and staff to contagious disease through contamination from other patients and lack of complete cleaning of equipment — violating basic conditions of adequate care.”

Blumenthal is making the demands as the Senate gears up to consider an omnibus veterans bill from Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) next week. Sanders’s bill aims to improve medical care for veterans, among other things.