Monday, August 22, 2011

Rep. Mike Turner to Introduce Legislation After Dayton Veterans Administration Scandal

You would think that these laws would already be in place.
U.S. Rep. Mike Turner today will announce federal legislation that would let the government fine and imprison for up to one year Veterans Health Administration employees who intentionally fail to follow infection control practices.

Turner, R-Centerville, is introducing the bill in part as a result of revelations early this year that at least 535 veterans were put at risk by alleged poor infection control practices at the Dayton VA Medical Center’s dental clinic.

The dentist at the heart of the scandal, Dr. Dwight Pemberton, was reassigned after whistleblowers came forward in July 2010. Pemberton, 81, retired in February, before the VA took disciplinary action against him.

Pemberton has denied allegations he failed to change gloves and sterilize equipment between patients. He has voluntarily retired his Ohio dental license.

After the whistleblowers came forward, the Dayton VA closed the dental clinic for three weeks and offered testing for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV to 535 veterans who had received invasive dental work from Pemberton since 1992.

The Dayton VA has said three positive cases — two for hepatitis B and one for hepatitis C — may be linked to the dental clinic.

In the wake of the scandal:

• the Dayton VA’s director, Guy Richardson, was reassigned to a regional VA headquarters job in Cincinnati;

• the VA’s chief of staff, Dr. Steven Cohen, retired shortly after the whistleblowers came forward;

• the dental service chief, Dr. Andrew Mesaros, was fired after a VA investigation found he hadn’t done enough prior to July 2010 to address dental clinic employees’ concerns about Pemberton’s alleged infection control lapses.
Government run health care dentistry, like the V.A.?

No thanks....I'll take the private sector and the controls the market exert on the practice of dentistry.

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