Health Care:

Readiness of U.S. Contingency Hospital Systems to Treat War Casualties

T-HRD-92-17: Published: Mar 25, 1992. Publicly Released: Mar 25, 1992.

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GAO discussed the adequacy of plans by the Departments of Defense (DOD) and Veterans Affairs (VA) and other organizations to care for wartime casualties returning to the United States. GAO noted that in 1984, several federal, state, local, and private-sector agencies established the National Medical Disaster System (NMDS) to provide care to casualties from civilian disasters or military conflicts. GAO noted that: (1) DOD lacks knowledge regarding the qualifications or readiness of medical personnel in the reserve forces; (2) each of the six communities visited overstated the number of beds expected to be available in DOD, VA, and NMDS hospitals; (3) DOD lacks plans to develop additional specialty care should its existing capabilities be exceeded; (4) some communities lack adequate plans to receive, transport, and care for casualties; (5) DOD has not developed an adequate casualty tracking system; and (6) VA medical centers lack plans for continued care of beneficiaries displaced from those centers to make room for casualties.

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