By Mr. Gino G Mattorano (Regional Health Command Europe)March 8, 2019
LANDSTUHL REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER, Germany -- The military healthcare system will undergo a transition over the next several years, but Army leaders and healthcare beneficiaries can rest assured that military treatment facilities will continue to deliver a medically-ready force and access to quality health care.
That's according to Maj. Gen. Ron Place, Director, National Capital Region and transition Intermediate Management Organization for the Defense Health Agency, during a visit to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center Feb. 28.
Place visited the European Theater of Operations Feb. 25 through March 1 to discuss the transition and how it will impact military medicine. During his trip, he visited Air Force and Navy installations in Italy and the United Kingdom, and hosted town hall meetings at Sembach Kaserne and LRMC.
Congress directed changes to the Military Health System through the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, which redefined the roles of the military Medical Departments and the Defense Health Agency. In particular, management and administration of Army, Air Force and Navy hospitals and clinics will transition to the DHA.
Place encouraged the LRMC staff to keep an open mind about the changes, which he says should be transparent to medical staff, and seamless to beneficiaries.
"There's no 'us' versus 'them,'" Place said. "It's just 'us.' We have to get this right. Congress and the Department of Defense are trusting us to collectively come together in a way that provides the same level of care for our beneficiaries, while eliminating excess infrastructure and improving outcomes for readiness, health, quality and cost."
According to Place, the end result of the transformation will be a more integrated, efficient and effective system of readiness and health that will increase the lethality of the force.
The transition of military hospitals and clinics will be accomplished through a phased approach that has already begun in the Eastern United States, but overseas facilities aren't scheduled to transition until October, 2021.