Air Force hospital medical malpractice cases

Everyone who serves in the U.S. military sees firsthand things that just are invisible to civilians. The same is true for dependents and family members. For example, try explaining to a civilian the concept of “hurry up and wait.”

Sadly, one fact that service members, veterans, and their dependents know is that Air Force, Army, and Navy hospital health care often miss the mark when compared with civilian hospitals.

I know that I witnessed this myself. Before going to law school, I served as an officer in the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps, where my MOS was 67B, health care administration. I was stationed at Fort Leonard Wood, where I was the hospital administrator for the Community Medicine Division of the General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital.

I made a list of all of the Air Force hospitals in the United States below. Each of these U.S. Air Force hospitals is tasked with the mission of providing health care to airmen and their family members. At first glance, this seems straightforward enough. 

So, then, why is it that hospital care on post or on base quite often does not have the same quality as civilian health care?

One reason is that Air Force, Army, and Navy hospital doctors and most of the nurses and techs are in uniform. That means that they have extra duties, in addition to the health care part of their jobs. Much of it is training, which requires precious time, attention, and even sleep. 

The New York Times explained it like this, “Military hospitals must train a combat-ready medical corps while treating fevers and delivering babies.” Sometimes that divided attention can lead to mistakes, like surgical complications, medication errors, birth or baby injuries, brain damage, missing a diagnosis and many others. And in a hospital setting, mistakes can lead to brain injury, paralysis or even death.

Another factor is that military doctors generally have less experience than their counterparts in civilian hospitals. 

Most of the doctors I knew in while I was on active duty in the U.S. Army were repaying four-year military scholarship obligations. That means that they were fresh out of their medical school and residency training. And when they paid their service obligation, they did an ETS to civilian life, where they could make more money. At civilian hospitals, the doctors generally stay around much longer—sometimes for their whole careers. Experience builds competence.

There are special rules that apply to suits against Air Force, Army, and Navy Hospitals, because they are owned and operated by the U.S. Government. The Federal Tort Claims Act defines under what circumstances you can sue for medical malpractice or negligence in a military hospital.

Our Texas-based medical malpractice attorneys understand that Federal Tort Claims Act and are available to handle Air Force, Navy, and Army hospital malpractice cases nationwide. Many victims of medical malpractice are concerned about cover-ups, particularly when it happens on base or on post. Fortunately, military medical malpractice and wrongful death cases are in federal court, where a neutral federal judge presides, rather than through the military system.

If you or someone you care for has been injured or has died from care at any Air Force, Army, or Navy Force hospital, call the experience medical malpractice attorneys at Painter Law Firm, at 281-580-8800, for a free, confidential evaluation of your potential case.

Air Force Hospitals

David Grant USAF Medical Center, Travis Air Force Base, CA
Ehrling Bergquist Hospital, Offutt Air Force Base, NE
Keesler Medical Center, Keesler Air Force Base, MS
Malcolm Grow Medical Center, Andrews Air Force Base, MD
Mike O’Callaghan Federal Hospital (MOFH), Nellis Air Force Base, NV
Scott AFB Hospital, Scott Air Force Base, IL
Wilford Hall Medical Center, Lackland Air Force Base, TX
Wright-Patterson Medical Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH

Robert Painter
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Robert Painter

Robert Painter is an award-winning medical malpractice attorney at Painter Law Firm Medical Malpractice Attorneys in Houston, Texas. He is a former hospital administrator who represents patients and family members in medical negligence and wrongful death lawsuits all over Texas. Contact him for a free consultation and strategy session by calling 281-580-8800 or emailing him right now.