- Female Veterans Lack Privacy at VA Facilities: Report
- World's Oldest Mother Dies
- House Bill Would Make Health Care a Right
- Air Force Academy Cadets Hit by Swine Flu
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by editors of HealthDay:
Female Veterans Lack Privacy at VA Facilities: Report
Female veterans aren't assured of privacy when they bathe and undergo physical examinations at Veterans Affairs hospitals and clinics, federal government auditors say.
No VA facility under review is complying fully with federal privacy regulations, said the Government Accountability Office, the Associated Press reported.
In many VA facilities, gynecological tables face the door. At four hospitals, female patients weren't guaranteed access to private bathing facilities. In two cases, there were no locks on bathing room doors, the GAO investigators found.
Privacy isn't the only issue for female veterans. VA hospitals lack child care and it can be difficult to find diaper-changing tables, the AP reported.
The VA knows that services for women need improvement, but changes are being made to "build the system that will provide care equal to the health care needs of all America's veterans, regardless of gender," said Patricia Hayes, chief consultant of the veterans strategic health care group at the VA.
World's Oldest Mother Dies
A Spanish woman who was the oldest ever to become a new mother died Saturday at the age of 69, according to her family, BBC News reported.
Maria del Carmen Bousada was 66 when she gave birth to twin boys in 2006. She said she received fertility treatments at a California clinic after telling doctors she was 55. A Spanish newspaper said she was diagnosed with cancer shortly after giving birth to sons Christian and Pau, who are now 2 years old.
Bousada had said there was no reason to believe she would not live as long as her mother, who was 101 when she died. Even if she died prematurely, she said, her sons would never be alone, BBC News reported.
"There are lots of young people in our family," Bousada said.
House Bill Would Make Health Care a Right
As part of the overhaul of the U.S. health-care system, Democrats in the House of Representatives want to make health care a right and a responsibility for all Americans.
Under the $1.5 trillion proposal, the federal government would be responsible for ensuring that all people have access to an affordable health insurance plan. Employers and individuals would have new obligations to obtain coverage or be hit with major penalties, the Associated Press reported.
The House and Senate are under pressure from the White House to pass health-care reform bills before the August recess. President Barack Obama wants legislation that would slow rising health-care costs and extend coverage to about 50 million uninsured Americans.
"There's going to be a major debate over the next three weeks," Obama said during a speech in Warren, Mich., the AP reported. "And don't be fooled by folks trying to scare you saying we can't change the health-care system. We have no choice but to change the health-care system because right now it's broken for too many Americans."
On Wednesday, the Senate health committee chaired by Sen. Edward Kennedy, (D.-Mass.), passed a bill to overhaul health care, becoming the first congressional committee to act on Obama's goal of reforming the system this year.
The Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee voted 13-10 along party lines to pass a $600-billion measure that would expand coverage to nearly all Americans by requiring individuals to get insurance and employers to contribute to the cost, the AP reported.
Kennedy, who is being treated for brain cancer, wasn't on hand for the vote.
Air Force Academy Cadets Hit by Swine Flu
Swine flu has been confirmed in 67 cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs and test results are pending for dozens of others, an academy spokesman said Tuesday. Cadets with confirmed or suspected swine flu have been isolated in a dormitory.