Improving Female Veterans' Healthcare

There are more than 20 million veterans in the US, about two million of whom are women.  The Department of Veterans Affairs says the female veteran population is growing rapidly. The DVA is taking an initiative to improve health care services for female veterans. They are doing a phone survey calling all female veterans enrolled in their health care services to see what better ways they can cater to their medical needs. They are trying to get those not enlisted to call to get more accurate results.

State Veterans Counselor and veteran herself Lucy Carracedo says she served in the Air Force for 28 years. She says when she first started, the female population made up about one percent of the veterans. Now, they make up eight percent. Carracedo says, "The population of female veterans is much smaller comparatively speaking to the male population, but it is growing in numbers."

Wichita County Veteran's Service Officer says, "The VA has recognized female veterans have different needs than us male veterans. And so they are actually doing, formed a survey that they're going to be calling various female veterans to find out what their needs are. And if they think that they're being met with the VA." But Wichita Falls female veteran April McHam who served in the navy for 12 years says the VA is only calling those female veterans enrolled in the healthcare. And some have different contact information now.

And that is why Carracedo says the female veterans have to speak up. She says, "It's very easy to complain about an institution, an organization, but if the organization is trying, and the specific population doesn't raise up and say look. Here's what I need, here's who I am, count in. We can't blame the organization."

Eickman says we have the North Texas VA Clinic here in town, but they are working on establishing a hospital that way veterans don't have to travel as far as Oklahoma City, Waco, or Lawton to be treated. One concern among female vets is the VA still doesn't carry drugs that are just for women.

Jessica Abuchaibe, Newschannel 6.