DOD Health Care:

Analysis of Selected Military Medical Facility Construction Projects

HRD-86-84BR: Published: Apr 4, 1986. Publicly Released: Apr 4, 1986.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on: (1) certain recommendations the Blue Ribbon Panel on Sizing Department of Defense (DOD) Medical Treatment Facilities made; (2) the need for a replacement facility for the Brooke Army Medical Center; (3) staffing at the Wilford Hall Air Force Medical Center; (4) the possibility of closing Brooke and jointly staffing Wilford Hall with Army and Air Force personnel; and (5) the DOD decision not to replace a hospital at Malmstrom Air Force Base.

GAO found that: (1) from 1983 to 1985, the average daily patient load and average length of stay increased at Brooke and decreased at Wilford Hall; (2) the Air Force's nursing staff projections for Wilford Hall are not consistent with its staffing guidelines; and (3) the Navy is developing a plan for joint Army and Air Force staffing of a teaching medical facility at Wilford Hall. GAO also found that: (1) the Panel recommended that DOD examine the issue of whether Brooke is essential to its medical readiness before it decides whether to close or replace Brooke; (2) if DOD closed Brooke, there would still be enough hospital beds in the area to provide care to DOD beneficiaries; and (3) closing Brooke would be more cost-effective than replacing it, since the care it provides could be provided by Wilford Hall and area civilian hospitals. In addition, GAO found that the Air Force reasonably decided to replace the hospital at Malmstrom with an ambulatory care clinic because: (1) the military mission at Malmstrom does not require direct support from a military hospital; and (2) there are adequate local civilian health care facilities.

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