Female Vets Deserve Better
Our female veterans deserve better care when they come home. They deserve treatment opportunities and care that is gender specific. Trying to tailor medical and mental health treatments designed for men to work with women is not an option. Systems must be designed so that women who serve are properly cared for in every aspect, with gender specific treatment options and devices.
Access to gender-appropriate care for these veterans is essential.
Gender Differences in Treatment for Disabilities
A troubling area where female veterans are not provided adequate and equal care after their service is in treatment for disabilities. Many women lose one or more limbs just like male veterans do, however prosthetic devices, support, and medical care for these injuries are based on male physiology. Women tend to have smaller arms and shoulders, with wider hips and legs than male counterparts.
Prosthetic used for women tend to fit improperly because of the physical differences between the genders. This can create many hardships, and cause considerable emotional distress as well as problems with confidence and self-esteem for female veterans. While customized prosthetic for women are available on the private market they are generally not offered by government agencies.
Vital Healthcare Services For Female Veterans are Lacking
The number of women veterans is growing, and the VA is simply not doing enough to meet their health, social, and economic needs.
As more women serve in the military, the rates of PTSD in women veterans continue to keep pace with male statistics. Although some of it is caused by combat or related stress, the effects of Military Sexual Trauma (MST) have an outsized effect on women.
The DoD and the VA still fall short of providing equitable health care services to all veterans. There are few, if any, gender specific care guidelines and services that are necessary for women such as breast and cervical cancer screenings. Policies must be changed and improved on so that women who serve are not left behind once they return home.
The best way for a female veteran is to have other health insurance other than the VA. Once a female veteran has been disabled for two years and receiving social security she can then apply for Medicare and receive additional medical benefits, those who turn 65 automatically qualify for Medicare.
What Services Does VA Offer Female Vets?
VA provides comprehensive primary care that includes services for acute and chronic illnesses, preventive services, and gender-specific care, and other services. VA’s medical staff are experts in providing medical care and services beyond primary care, including:
• Military sexual trauma-related care
• Military and environmental exposure
Women Veterans can apply for VA health care enrollment and other Veterans benefits by completing VA Form 10- 10EZ. To complete the form:
• Apply online at www.1010ez.med.va.gov •
Visit, call, or write to any VA health care facility or Veterans’ benefits office • Call the VA Health Benefits Call Center toll free at 877-222-VETS (8387)
• Get more information online about VA benefits (www.vba.va.gov) and eligibility (www.va.gov/ healtheligibility/)