APRIL 27, 1945
HYDE PARK, Thursday—The Veterans' Administration has existed ever since the last war. It has been upheld by the veterans' organizations and, without question, General Hines has done a remarkably good administrative job with conditions as they were up to this war. Now, however, conditions have changed.
Instead of a comparatively few men being in veterans' hospitals, the number will be steadily increasing. Instead of the type of case which came to the hospitals previous to 1941, when custodial care was, on the whole, fairly satisfactory, there is now a stream of youngsters who must get the best possible medical care in order to give us back vigorous and active citizens for the work which needs to be done in the world.
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General Hines is not a doctor. Admittedly, the salaries paid to doctors in the Veterans' Administration are not very high. Perhaps the worst situation is in the hospitals for mental care. With our limited number of psychiatrists, these particular hospitals should be near the big medical establishments, instead of which they have been placed in isolated parts of the country.
A metropolitan newspaper yesterday carried an editorial on the subject of the GI Bill of Rights and the Veterans' Administration. They suggested that possibly it was a trifle difficult for Representative Rankin's committee to do a really unbiased investigation of veterans' hospitals.
I doubt very much whether any group of laymen visiting any of these hospitals could discover what really needs to be done, but there are qualified medical people who could get the information and give it to the Congress.
In the interest of the taxpayer as well as in the interest of the young men who fought this war, I hope there will be a real investigation by qualified people.