I was fortunate enough to have had the privilege of doing some of my medical training in the military facilities across our nation. This would include the Veteran’s Hospital in Seattle and Elmendorf Airforce Base in Anchorage, Alaska. One thing I quickly learned was that their way was different than the way things worked in the private facilities.
They certainly can’t be used as examples of productivity. For example, surgery never started after 2 PM–unless they were emergencies, and this rarely ever happened. In the private hospitals, surgery starts all day long and even into the night. The militaryÂ facilitiesÂ use only the cheapest of medications (generic) andÂ adding a new medication to the panel is, well, forget about it. Â
This doesn’t mean that they don’t care for the soldiers and they do well with what they have (or what they allow themselves to have). But I am wondering if the private sector can come to their aid and do a much better job.
I see military familiesÂ in my practice every day through Tricare insurance. Although not the best insurance, I am glad toÂ treat themÂ because they have keptÂ me free. I owe them that and much, much more.Â Perhaps we can arrange for the military personnel to have direct access to the private sector physicians by using a similarÂ medical card. This would facilitate moreÂ access to care without having to build, staff, and maintain separate government entities. Just an idea.Â Think about it.