Late Breaking News
U.S. Medical Personnel in ‘Impossible Situation’ Mentoring at Substandard Kabul Hospital: Conditions ‘Auschwitz-like’
DoD Cooperation ‘Unacceptable’
Chaffetz, meanwhile, expressed concern about DoD’s level of cooperation with the House investigation. He said the military had not provided a 25-page memo, written by Geller and detailing the problems, until after it was known the legislative group already had a copy.
“What I want the DoD to know is that this is totally unacceptable,” Chaffetz said.
At a separate hearing, David Sedney, deputy assistant secretary of defense for Afghanistan, Pakistan and central Asia, told legislators that the situation was improving at the hospital.
“Thanks to the response and effort devoted to reforming the healthcare and medical logistics systems at the Dawood Hospital, we are now helping turn around what had been a broken system, introducing accountability, standards and stewardship at all levels,” he said.
Afghan authorities also are investigating former Afghan Surgeon Gen. Ahmad Zia Yaftali, who was removed from leadership of the hospital, Sedney said. Following his removal, new hospital leadership established more “stringent planning and oversight” and, by August of last year, there were “no known cases of abuse,” he added.
Kenneth Moorefield, deputy inspector general for special plans and operations in DoD’s Office of Inspector General, also said his office’s most recent investigation, at the end of June, found that progress had been made at the hospital in key areas, including no evidence of patient maltreatment and the development of clearly defined medical standards.
Legislators at that hearing had questions about what mentoring entailed in terms of patient care.
“If someone was in an operating room and started to bleed out and we had a surgeon there watching and could save their life, would he have the authority to step in and save their life?” Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX) asked.
“I do not believe that their current mission includes directly intervening,” Moorefield responded.
Cooper added that even with more resources and standards, “without enforcement, without some ability for U.S. personnel to step in” and “stop someone from bleeding to death because the bribe wasn’t big enough to save their life,” U.S. personnel are being put in an “impossible situation.”
“Even being associated with this mess can ruin a career,” the congressman said.