Medical Readiness Training:

Limited Participation by Army Medical Personnel

NSIAD-93-205: Published: Jun 30, 1993. Publicly Released: Jun 30, 1993.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Army's medical wartime readiness training program, focusing on: (1) training that is currently available to prepare Army medical personnel for their wartime mission; (2) factors that inhibit Army medical personnel participation in the medical readiness training; and (3) steps the Army has taken to improve medical readiness training efforts.

GAO found that: (1) the primary courses required for medical officers provide basic skills training necessary for an officer's first assignment; (2) all active and reserve enlisted medical personnel are required to work in Health Services Command () hospitals and medical treatment facilities to obtain hands-on training related to their military occupational specialty; (3) Army medical personnel at all levels are required to participate in field training exercises to prepare for their wartime missions; (4) each officer is required to take the Army Medical Department's (AMEDD) basic and advanced courses before attending other senior officer courses or schools; (5) the HSC medical personnel mission during peacetime is to provide health care to over 3.5 million active duty personnel, retirees, and their dependents; (6) the HSC hospital operating budget may be reduced to the extent that physicians' participation in readiness training displaces patient work load; (7) medical officials believe that efforts to contain Civilian Health and Medical Program for the Uniformed Services' costs often preclude physicians from participating in medical readiness training; and (8) AMEDD has undertaken several initiatives such as regional training sites, training course revisions, and caretaker hospitals that may allow easier access to training facilities and increase training participation by active and reserve personnel.

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