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The Nation

Walter Reed report finds little progress

September 27, 2007|From the Washington Post

WASHINGTON — More than six months after disclosures of systemic problems at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and other hospitals, the Pentagon's promised fixes are threatened by staff shortages and uncertainty about how best to improve long-term care for troops, according to a report issued Wednesday.

Units developed to shepherd recovering soldiers lack enough nurses and social workers, and proposals to streamline the disability evaluation system are behind schedule, according to the Government Accountability Office report.

Members of a congressional oversight committee said the effort to reform the medical bureaucracy has itself become mired in bureaucracy.

"After so many promises but so little progress, we need to see more concrete results," said Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.), the panel's ranking Republican.

Panel members laid the blame on the Defense Department, the Army and the Veterans Affairs Department for what Rep. John F. Tierney (D-Mass.) termed an "utter lack of urgency."

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