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U.S veterans file lawsuit over healthcare failings
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13:20, July 24, 2007

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U.S. veterans on Monday filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), accusing it of failing to provide proper medical and mental health care for them.

The lawsuit contends that troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan are not getting proper medical and mental health care, citing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a particular problem.

The 73-page lawsuit, proposed to a San Francisco court for class-action status on behalf of hundreds of thousands of veterans, calls VA''s inaction "shameful failures."

"The VA''s outmoded systems for providing medical care and disability benefits" have been overwhelmed by "the huge influx of injured troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan," says the lawsuit.

In particular, attorneys for the plaintiffs say the VA is " structurally unsuitable" for dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder, which the lawsuit calls "a signature problem of veterans" of the current ongoing wars.

Only 27 of the VA''s 1,400 hospitals around the country have in-patient PTSD programs, the plaintiffs'' lawyers said.

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