The Defense Health Agency will assume control of all military medical treatment facilities, beginning in October. The change effectively would shift the responsibility for all hospital and clinic operations to the Defense Department, and away from the individual services’ medical commands.
The transfer will be gradual. The Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) reported July 11 that Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg, N.C., would be the service’s first to be transferred. The entire process should take roughly four years to complete.
Speaking at a recent AUSA symposium in San Antonio, Texas, Army Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Nadja Y. West said the change was adopted as part of a larger reform of military medicine. The goal, West said, was “to reduce redundancy and deliver efficiencies,” AUSA reported.
Congress approved the transfer plan in the 2017 defense-spending bill.