Medical Infrastructure Requirements for Army Transformation
What is it? To support Army Transformation, the Army must have essential healthcare services at receiving installations when Soldiers and families relocate as a result of Army Transformation, Base Realignment and Closure decisions, or Integrated Global Basing Positioning Strategy. The Army will be required to expand or improve medical infrastructure at many installations by a combination of restationing medical personnel, accessing civilian network partners and the construction of new or expanded medical facilities. This latter component presents a significant challenge to the Army and the Department of Defense, due to the long lead time and limited funding for medical military construction.
What has the Army done? U.S. Army Medical Command and the Office of The Surgeon General have identified and prioritized necessary construction projects and staffing increases required at each Army installation. The Army and Office of the Secretary of Defense are validating these requirements and determining the best way to fund essential projects. However, medical military construction is funded through the Defense Medical Military Construction program, which is limited in its ability to rapidly respond to Army restationing requirements. In the interim, the Army has approved modular construction and renovations to existing healthcare facilities to temporarily expand medical and dental facilities at many Army installations. These facilities provide a vitally important, mid-range solution until permanent construction projects are in place.
What efforts does the Army plan to continue in the future? The Army continues to identify mission essential healthcare infrastructure and seek flexible, innovative ways to fill these requirements. Installation business plans will include validated healthcare infrastructure requirements so the Army can continue to work with the Department of Defense and Congress to address this critical installation support function.
Why is this important to the Army? A medical infrastructure tailored to the medical readiness requirements of each installation ensures that the Army can provide Combatant Commanders with fit and ready Soldiers who can withstand the rigors of present and future battlefields. It is essential that these facilities be scoped to accommodate family member and retiree medical care. Not only must the health care benefit be properly managed, but military medical professionals must treat a comprehensive mix of patients, in order to maintain critical wartime medical skills. They must also be exposed to a robust medical practice, which will challenge these professionals to remain on active duty beyond their initial obligations.