12 new projects for Gulf War vets' health issues get funding
Is the VA looking for answers to the health problems of Gulf War veterans?
Answer: Funding has been approved for 12 new projects to understand illnesses affecting some Gulf War veterans. The total estimated cost will be $5.2 million over three years, with $1.7 million approved for 2006. The new programs will bring Gulf War veterans' illnesses research spending for 2006 to $11.3 million. Some veterans who participated in Desert Shield and Desert Storm have reported a variety of ailments including fatigue, weakness, sleep disturbances, persistent headaches, skin rashes, respiratory problems, and other illnesses.
Q: Are there occasions when I can visit the VA Medical Center without paying a copayment?
A: Outpatient visits for which no copayment will be assessed include: publicly announced VA health initiatives (e.g., health fairs) or an outpatient visit solely consisting of preventive screening and/or immunizations, such as influenza immunization, pneumococcal immunization, hypertension screening, hepatitis C screening, tobacco screening, alcohol screening, hyperlipidemia screening, breast cancer screenings, cervical cancer screening, screening for colorectal cancer by fecal occult blood testing, and education about the risks and benefits of prostate cancer screening. Laboratory, flat film radiology services, and electrocardiograms are also exempt from copayments. For more information, call 433-7676.
If you have questions about your benefits as a veteran, call Fred Ballard at the Veterans Affairs at 433-0049 or visit the VA Web site at www.va.gov/hawaii
or the Star-Bulletin at 529-4747.
Gregg K. Kakesako, who covers military affairs for the Star-Bulletin, can be reached by phone at 294-4075
or by e-mail at email@example.com