Not all hospitals are created equal. This is fairly obvious reality in health care. Hospitals which have money and whose services are in high demand are able to hire highly skilled practitioners and health care providers as well as invest in technology which improves the quality of care for patients. Hospitals which don’t have the investment are often less capable of successfully treating patients.

Small military hospitals, in particular, are known for the risks they present to patients. Geared to providing care for soldiers harmed in service, many of these hospitals usually provide much more ordinary care. Last year, two-thirds of such hospitals served 30 or less patients per day. The reasons for this are largely that such hospitals are often small enough and see so few patients that staff providers are not always capable of diagnosing and treating illnesses and conditions outside the basic. 

Fortunately, financial stress may provide the occasion for converting a number of small military hospitals to other facilities such as outpatient clinics. Doing so will help the Department of Defense save money and restrict the kind of care such facilities can provide.

Substandard care in any facilities can and does lead to patients taking legal action against their physicians and the hospital where the medical error occurred. Those who are currently facing such a situation should work with an experienced attorney in evaluating their case and building up a solid claim. Doing so ensures that they are adequately compensated, whether or not they take their case to trial.

Source: New York Times, “Smaller Military Hospitals Said to Put Patients at Risk,” Sharon LaFraniere & Andrew W. Lehrer, September 1, 2014.