Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 37

Thread: Medical Corps too big?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    stateside currently
    Posts
    23
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Medical Corps too big?

    Recent thread about "fighting 2 wars" got me thinking about the AF Medical Corps (and by extension all services' medics). The tie-in is whether the manning and resources we use on the military medical service takes money away from our core mission...and may not be providing good value in terms of unique capabilities that civilian/reservists could provide. ie, we could have a much smaller/leaner medical corps if we only staffed for caring for active duty and military unique capabilities. Does it make sense to have military medical centers stateside when equal or better care could be obtained via private sector. Let me toss out a couple ideas and see what you guys think. I think most countries have much smaller medical corps, and may use "reservist" type medics when they need to ramp up. Idea is that these guys best maintain their medical skills in the busy hospitals/practices and it is more cost effective to activate them on an "as needed" basis. US has a huge military medical corps with tons of administrators and frequently specialists who do not get to do enough of their work to keep their skills up. Turn-over in hospital leadership and vision makes it impossible to build a long-term vision and plan for providing highest quality care. Military medicine failures are disturbing including some stories featured in AF times (Colton Reed--paralyzed after gall bladder surgery, accidental abortion (they thought baby was dead even though they had just done an ultra sound that documented living baby...and more). So, here's the real question, even if the medical corps was doing great work--which I'm not at all sure about---is it pulling critical resources from the real mission of the AF? AT any given time the medical corps takes a large number of officer and enlisted slots. We're talking about our ability to adequately fund war efforts and defense capabilities with current budget. I think the issue of the enormous foot-print of military medical corps needs to be considered as a possible area for adjustments. I am beginning to think that if a medical job is not critical to the core mission it should be outsourced. If this conversation is going on, I missed it. It seems like there is a huge amount of political clout in the AF to maintain the status quo. Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Robert F. Dorr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Oakton, Virginia
    Posts
    894
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Re: Medical Corps too big?

    I wish ManOSteel had used shorter paragraphs.

    My opinion isn't popular but my view is that whenever a military member's need can be met outside the main gate, it should be. Most stateside bases are near medical emergency clinics, hospitals, places of worship, and grocery stores. By having distinct versions of these establishments inside the fence, we pay extra to keep military members farther apart from the public they serve.

    My overall solution to medical and health issues goes way beyond the question posed here. I would eliminate all other health care bureaucracies and put everyone in the United States on Medicare. But I would also enact rigorous safeguards to make it work.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    stateside currently
    Posts
    23
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Re: Medical Corps too big?

    Good points. I had not thought about it in terms of the ongoing problem of mainstream society and military being separated but that is true. Military bases have become isolated little cities where life is different and mainstream society is generally not allowed to enter. This distancing is not good for a democracy.

    Quality is a major part of my concern. I would rather my baby be born at a high volume, experienced medical center with a great US News and World Report ranking than an unknown military hospital. Why shouldn't that be an option?

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Bernkastel-Kues
    Posts
    19
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Re: Medical Corps too big?

    Interesting thread...and I agree the medical corps is too big. There are thousands in MDGs who have not deployed nor are they tasked to UTCs. The idea you are mentioning is very similar to the employment of Aeromedical Evacuation where there are only 4 active duty units and 28 Guard/Reserve Units. Only when the AD dwell is at or below 1:2 can they pull from the ARC units.

  5. #5
    Senior Member LogDog's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Somewhere, Ca
    Posts
    800
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)

    Re: Medical Corps too big?

    Quote Originally Posted by ManOSteel View Post
    Recent thread about "fighting 2 wars" got me thinking about the AF Medical Corps (and by extension all services' medics). The tie-in is whether the manning and resources we use on the military medical service takes money away from our core mission...and may not be providing good value in terms of unique capabilities that civilian/reservists could provide. ie, we could have a much smaller/leaner medical corps if we only staffed for caring for active duty and military unique capabilities. Does it make sense to have military medical centers stateside when equal or better care could be obtained via private sector. Let me toss out a couple ideas and see what you guys think. I think most countries have much smaller medical corps, and may use "reservist" type medics when they need to ramp up. Idea is that these guys best maintain their medical skills in the busy hospitals/practices and it is more cost effective to activate them on an "as needed" basis. US has a huge military medical corps with tons of administrators and frequently specialists who do not get to do enough of their work to keep their skills up. Turn-over in hospital leadership and vision makes it impossible to build a long-term vision and plan for providing highest quality care. Military medicine failures are disturbing including some stories featured in AF times (Colton Reed--paralyzed after gall bladder surgery, accidental abortion (they thought baby was dead even though they had just done an ultra sound that documented living baby...and more). So, here's the real question, even if the medical corps was doing great work--which I'm not at all sure about---is it pulling critical resources from the real mission of the AF? AT any given time the medical corps takes a large number of officer and enlisted slots. We're talking about our ability to adequately fund war efforts and defense capabilities with current budget. I think the issue of the enormous foot-print of military medical corps needs to be considered as a possible area for adjustments. I am beginning to think that if a medical job is not critical to the core mission it should be outsourced. If this conversation is going on, I missed it. It seems like there is a huge amount of political clout in the AF to maintain the status quo. Thoughts?
    You've raised some interesting points and I'd like to touch on a few of them.

    One of the problems doctors, PAs, nurses, med techs would have if they dealt only with active duty personnel is military personnel are, on a whole, healthy so the medical folk won't be seeing enough variety of ailments/problems for them to experience. Remember, medical personnel treat not only military personnel but the have and do go on humanitarian deployments, such as the Third World, where they treat people of all ages and problems.

    As for medical care within the local community, in areas near a medium or large city you'll have the equivalent care found in the military. But what about the bases near small cities or rural areas where their capabilities are limited. I'm thinking areas like Cannon AFB, Edwards, AFB, Laughlin AFB, Goodfellow AFB, etc.? I been assigned to bases with small hospitals/clinics and one of the things the AF does is they will contract with the nearby hospital(s) to get admitting privileges for their doctors and allow them to see civilian patients so they can get that variety of patients as well as keep up their medical skills.

    Medical groups also have medical war readiness material programs maintained by Medical Materiel (who fall under the medical administration squadron) that deploy so who would build, maintain, and deploy these packages? Reserve personnel at reserve bases also have medical WRM programs that they take care of so using them to take care of active duty programs is out of the question.

    The horror stories you hear about in military hospitals is also present in the civilian hospitals. The question is which one has the most mistakes per patient population?

  6. #6
    Senior Member Capt Alfredo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    The Echo Chamber
    Posts
    584
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)

    Re: Medical Corps too big?

    Quote Originally Posted by LogDog_guest View Post
    As for medical care within the local community, in areas near a medium or large city you'll have the equivalent care found in the military. But what about the bases near small cities or rural areas where their capabilities are limited. I'm thinking areas like Cannon AFB, Edwards, AFB, Laughlin AFB, Goodfellow AFB, etc.?
    I'm not sure I understand what you're saying here. In San Angelo (Goodfellow AFB), for example, there is no military hospital. Everything outside of basic immunizations and what-not is done downtown. There are actually two good hospitals there. This would appear to be the smart way to do business.

  7. #7
    Senior Member RobotChicken's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Williamsburg VA
    Posts
    1,379
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Re: Medical Corps too big?

    [QUOTE=70gto;615127]Interesting thread...and I agree the medical corps is too big. There are thousands in MDGs who have not deployed nor are they tasked to UTCs. The idea you are mentioning is very similar to the employment of Aeromedical Evacuation where there are only 4 active duty units and 28 Guard/Reserve Units. Only when the AD dwell is at or below 1:2 can they pull from the ARC units.[/QUO
    :spy One thing I came across was the reserve force of air cargo civil aircraft. I know years ago they added AD pilot numbers to Civil aircrews numbers but left out the fact that many were reserve officers in flying billets! So in effect the did NOT have the transport numbers as advertised. OPPS....:bolt

  8. #8
    Senior Member LogDog's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Somewhere, Ca
    Posts
    800
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)

    Re: Medical Corps too big?

    Quote Originally Posted by Capt Alfredo View Post
    I'm not sure I understand what you're saying here. In San Angelo (Goodfellow AFB), for example, there is no military hospital. Everything outside of basic immunizations and what-not is done downtown. There are actually two good hospitals there. This would appear to be the smart way to do business.
    The last time I was at Goodfellow AFB was about 15 years ago so if they don't have a hospital then they probably have to rely on the local hospitals. My point was at small bases in rural or sparsely populated areas where medical care is limited necessitates the need for a military hospital/clinic.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    759
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Re: Medical Corps too big?

    My take on this is that they should combine all branches medical services and turn it into one agency inside DoD. Have USHUS ran it since they already have a system in place. I believe it will be very hard to gut the Medical Corps in any significant way due to the many rules and regulations that are in place when it comes to military healthcare.

  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    stateside currently
    Posts
    23
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Re: Medical Corps too big?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bunch View Post
    My take on this is that they should combine all branches medical services and turn it into one agency inside DoD. Have USHUS ran it since they already have a system in place. I believe it will be very hard to gut the Medical Corps in any significant way due to the many rules and regulations that are in place when it comes to military healthcare.

    Congress recognized some time back that redundant military health care between the services was wasteful and they pushed for combining service and administration. Army and Navy agreed. Air Force held out and fought it largely justifying it with claims of service-unique issue with flying that could not be dealt with by combined services. I believe the tax payers are being bilked by this huge mess. Many layers of rules and administration of those rules have been unnecessarily created and used to justify even more growth. (my opinion obviously).

    Efforts to combine medical services have occurred at Walter Reed/Bethesda "National Cap Region" and have not gone smoothly due to poor planning and leadership. Again, seems the current leaders don't want to make this work.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •