VA struggling to treat women veterans.

Roughly 180,000 women have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, and last year, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) “treated more than 255,000 female veterans. The number is expected to double within five years.” The agency, however, is far from prepared to deal with women’s health care needs:

“They aren’t ready,” said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said of VA officials. “Absent a proactive, concerted effort and knowing their limited resources, they (VA officials) are struggling with so much this might get lost.” […]

The legislation [introduced by Murray] also would require the VA to start caring for newborn children of female veterans who are receiving maternity care. Currently the VA doesn’t cover newborn costs. In addition, it would require increased training for VA personnel dealing with military sexual trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, in women.

The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on Murray’s bill on Wednesday.