"Women have formally served in the United States armed forces for nearly a century, beginning with the creation of the Army Nurse Corps in 1901. But women are only now winning a long battle for veteran's health care services that has at times seemed as formidable as the conflicts they faced in two World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, and the Persian Gulf." Due to recent legislation over the last ten years, health care for female veterans has greatly improved. Female veterans now may receive monthly compensation payments for loss of a breast for reasons related to military service and benefits for children born with birth defects. However, "the VA recognizes that more improvements are needed . . . including providing greater privacy in hospital facilities and better inpatient psychiatric care for women." In addition, "veterans groups point to other ways in the VA could more effectively help women: developing better programs for those women veterans who are homeless; paying more attention to the specific health care needs of women; and giving the special women veterans' coordinators more time to do their job." Reporter Karen Lee Scrivo reports more on these issues.
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