DOD Needs Better Assessment of Military Hospitals' Capabilities To Care for Wartime Casualties

Gao ID: HRD-81-56 May 19, 1981

GAO reviewed the Department of Defense's (DOD) efforts to provide medical facilities for American casualties who would be returned to the United States for medical care in the event of a war in an overseas area.

The latitude provided in DOD guidance on the wartime use of military hospitals in the continental United States (CONUS) permits significant differences in the way the military services determine the extent of care that could be provided in their facilities if a war began. Under DOD guidance, the services have adopted different: (1) transition plans for converting individual hospitals to handle wartime casualties; (2) methods for identifying capacity of individual hospital facilities to expand the care for wartime work load; (3) stockpiling policies for medical materiels to meet mobilization expansion requirements; (4) types of buildings as wartime assets to augment hospital capacity; and (5) policies for retention of closed hospitals as future mobilization facilities. As a result of these differences, DOD does not have an accurate assessment of the medical mobilization capacity of CONUS military facilities. Recently, DOD has given little consideration to mobilization in configuring new hospitals, and its construction planning has been directed primarily to meeting design requirements for peacetime operations. Economic feasibility studies performed by the services before undertaking hospital construction projects have been used primarily to select the most cost-effective means of meeting peacetime military medical care needs. Design concept studies performed to determine configuration of new hospitals before construction are oriented to meeting peacetime performance requirements.


Our recommendations from this work are listed below with a Contact for more information. Status will change from "In process" to "Open," "Closed - implemented," or "Closed - not implemented" based on our follow up work.

Director: David P. Baine Team: General Accounting Office: Human Resources Division Phone: (202) 512-7101

The Justia Government Accountability Office site republishes public reports retrieved from the U.S. GAO These reports should not be considered official, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Justia.