WARTIME MEDICAL CARE: Aligning Sound Requirements With New Combat Care Approaches Is Key to Restructuring Force
GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC WASHINGTON DC United States
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We are pleased to be here today to discuss wartime medical requirements. In particular, you asked us to discuss the results from our ongoing review of the Department of Defenses DOD study of the military medical care system. DODs medical system costs about 15 billion annually and employs about 227,000 active duty and reserve personnel. Section 733 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 1992 and 1993 required DOD to conduct a study to, among other things, determine 1 the size and composition of the military medical system needed to support U.S. forces during a war or other conflict and 2 any adjustments needed for cost-effective delivery of medical care to covered beneficiaries during peacetime. DODs study referred to as the 733 study has challenged the Cold War assumption that all medical personnel employed during peacetime are needed for wartime. Its conclusion that wartime medical requirements are much lower--by as much as half--than the medical system programmed for fiscal year 1999 raises the question of whether U.S. military medical forces should be reduced to only those needed for wartime. This question has enormous implications for how care will be provided in wartime and peacetime.
- Medicine and Medical Research