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Arkansas VA Doctor System Under Scrutiny for Medical Malpractice

Suspected medical malpractice at an Arkansas doctor’s office led to at least seven misdiagnoses and potentially one fatality. That’s the latest from a wide-ranging investigation into Arkansas’s ailing Veteran’s Administration medical care system that has the whole nation watching.

In 2016 potential unsafe practices were reported to officials at the VA Medical Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas after it was revealed that one doctor there was “impaired” yet still treating patients. Investigators began to sift through that doctor’s medical files and immediately spotted significant errors and potentially lethal treatment mistakes.

Indeed, after the Veteran’s Health Care System of the Ozarks uncovered at least 7 misdiagnosed patients under the care of that single doctor at the VA Medical Center in Fayetteville, the organization is now investigating all of the particular doctor’s records to uncover even more potential medical malpractice in Arkansas. That could take years as the number of open cases appears to be close to 20,000 and span more than a decade from 2005 to 2016.

The unnamed doctor in question was suspended in 2016 but allowed to return to practice after a year of treatment for his/her “impairment.”  However, a follow-up investigation found significant impairment even after that treatment period.  The doctor was then terminated by the medical center and is no longer allowed to treat patients.

The State’s Response to this Latest Medical Malpractice in Arkansas

While the Arkansas VA has been quick to act after the potential medical malpractice was uncovered, one legislator says that isn’t enough. Senator John Boozman has proposed a significant bill that would increase the oversight under which the Arkansas VA operates. This new state government supervision would seek to prevent medical malpractice in the Arkansas VA system before it occurred rather than cleaning up the mess after the fact.

Yet some opponents wonder how effective such oversight would be considering the significant gaps into which bad doctors can fall. Consider:  this latest medical professional was allegedly treating patients for eleven years while being unfit to do so with no one the wiser.

It’s a Patient’s Responsibility to Fight Medical Malpractice in Arkansas

Even with a government investigation into medical malpractice in Arkansas, it’s up to the individual victims and the family members of those who are incapacitated (or the families of those who have passed away) to seek justice and financial compensation for the injuries bad doctors and misdiagnoses have caused.

While professional censure and perhaps even criminal charges may stem from medical malpractice investigations in Arkansas, victims will get overlooked unless they come forward and fight for the compensation they are owed.

Doctors can be held responsible for:

  • Misdiagnoses
  • Improper treatment
  • Prescription drug misuse/abuse
  • Failure to diagnose
  • Accidental death

While doctors are not legally required to have medical malpractice insurance in Arkansas, most do. These policies are designed to give patients a reliable route to financial compensation if they’ve been harmed by a doctor’s neglect, mistreatment, or improper diagnosis.

Get the Legal Help You Need

Filing a medical malpractice claim in Arkansas can be more difficult than the average individual is prepared to take on.   Malpractice cases are very complex and expensive to pursue.   Malpractice insurance companies have lawyers on standby waiting to defend a case as soon as it becomes known that their insured has potentially committed malpractice.   That’s why it’s recommended that injured patients or responsible family members always seek the help of a legal professional.  The victim or victim’s family needs an experienced medical malpractice attorney advocating for them and preserving evidence as well. Consulting with an experienced medical malpractice attorney in Arkansas can not only shorten the length of your financial recovery, having an Arkansas medical malpractice attorney on your side will likely increase the award that you’re potentially entitled to.

If you’ve been hurt by the actions (or inaction) of a medical professional, contact the Pfeifer Law Firm today. Call 501-374-4440 to talk with an aggressive medical malpractice attorney today.  Consultations are free, and if we do not recover for you,  you won’t owe us anything.   Call us today or chat with my office online.   Weekend and after-hours appointments are available upon request.

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