[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Thursday, 1 March 2007, 20:27 GMT
US military hospital boss removed
An injured US soldier is treated in Iraq. File photo
Some soldiers have had to wait months to get their disability pay
The head of the US army's flagship hospital has been fired, amid a scandal over the treatment of wounded soldiers.

Maj-Gen George Weightman, of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington DC, was told that army chiefs "had lost trust and confidence in his abilities".

It follows highly critical reports in the US media about the care of troops wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Last week, the Washington Post reported some of the wounded lived in buildings infested with rodents and cockroaches.

The newspaper said others had to wait for months to get their disability pay.

'Accountability'

In a brief statement, the army said senior service leaders had lost trust and confidence in Gen Weightman's leadership abilities "to address needed solutions for soldier outpatient care".

In the interim, Gen Weightman will be replaced by Lt Gen Kevin Kiley, the commander of US Medical Command, according to a US military spokesman.

Disciplinary action was also taken against several lower-level soldiers at Walter Reed hospital last week, but officials have declined to publicly confirm any details.

After a visit to the hospital facility last Friday, Defence Secretary Robert Gates said those found to be responsible for the problems at Walter Reed would be "held accountable".

"A bedrock principle of our military system is that we empower commanders with the responsibility, authority and resources necessary to carry out their mission.

"With responsibility comes accountability," Mr Gates said.


RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific