Babies born at military hospitals are twice as likely to suffer injury during delivery as infants born in civilian hospitals, according to documents obtained by The New York Times.
More than 50,000 babies are born in military hospitals each year.
In addition, mothers delivering babies at military hospitals were in greater danger than those in civilian medical facilities:
In 40 percent of the military hospitals, mothers were significantly more likely to suffer hemorrhages after birth than at the civilian hospitals tracked by the perinatal center.
The hemorrhages can lead to hysterectomies or even death.
Former Pentagon officials told The Times reporting negative outcomes in military health care is lax - therefore it's difficult to fix a problem if no one knows it's there:
Two measures used in major civilian hospitals to monitor quality of care — rates of death and readmission, adjusted for seriousness of illness — are simply not tracked.
In response to the Times article, Dr. Jonathan Woodson, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, sent an email to all military medical personnel stating, in part:
“The people we serve expect us to improve. The American public expects us to improve. We expect ourselves to improve...
“In moments like these, it can be easy to close down. We need to do the opposite. We need to become even more transparent.”
WTKR-TV in Hampton Roads, Va. delves into this topic a bit more: