Veterans who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma can access specialized, affordable treatment through the VA hospital system. Under the direction of highly experienced specialists, mesothelioma programs at VA hospitals can improve the life expectancy and comfort of veterans with mesothelioma. These services are often provided at no cost to the veteran.
Mesothelioma Treatment at VA Hospitals
Since mesothelioma is such a rare condition, most general doctors and hospitals do not have experience diagnosing and treating it. Patients are encouraged to seek the care of a specialist familiar with the disease and up to date on the latest life-prolonging treatments.
It’s estimated that veterans account for up to one-third of all patients diagnosed with mesothelioma.
Due to this alarming statistic, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers specialized treatment at VA facilities. These healthcare facilities employ some of the world’s top mesothelioma specialists.
For qualified veterans, treatment at these centers may be free or require a very low copayment. The service is intended to make quality treatment affordable for those that have served our country.
What Are VA Hospitals?
VA hospitals are health care centers managed by the VA, a federal agency that administers a variety of benefits and healthcare services to eligible veterans.
There are over 1,250 hospitals in the VA healthcare system, including 172 medical centers and 1,069 outpatient clinics. Veterans enrolled in the VA’s healthcare system can receive care at any facility.
VA hospitals treat about 9 million veterans every year.
Some VA hospitals offer specialized care for specific conditions while others are only equipped to treat common health problems. While VA hospitals used to have a poor reputation, much has changed.
Today, VA facilities provide the same quality of care as private hospitals, if not better. Since it is a government service, the VA system is even more strictly regulated than the private healthcare sector.
What Services Do VA Hospitals Offer?
At VA hospitals, veterans can access treatment for certain illnesses and injuries as well as preventive care and treatment aimed at improving quality of life.
For the most part, veterans must be enrolled in the VA hospital system to use these services. However, some mental health services are available to veterans not in the system.
VA hospitals provide a wide array of services, including:
- Emergency services
- Acute care
- Mental health services
- Exams and screenings
Some VA hospitals serve as research centers and teaching facilities. This allows veterans to receive treatment from experienced specialists and medical students and gain access to the latest treatment technology.
Veterans can also participate in promising clinical trials to receive treatments not yet approved by the FDA.
This is available through a partnership program between the VA and the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The program gives veterans access to new cancer treatments such as precision medicine and immunotherapies.