San Francisco, Calif.
An Associated Press review finds that the beleaguered Department of Veterans Affairs is falling short of its commitment to attend to the needs of the rising ranks of female veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
The A.P. says nearly one in four VA hospitals does not have a full-time gynecologist on staff, and 15 percent of community-based clinics do not have designated women's health providers.
Also, when community-based clinics refer veterans to outside facilities to be screened for breast cancer, more than half the time their mammogram results are not provided to patients within the required two weeks.
VA's investment of more than $1.3 billion in gender-specific care since 2008 has helped train hundreds of medical professionals in the fundamentals of treating the female body. But even the VA's office of women's health acknowledges persistent shortcomings remain.