Facilities in Place to Support Walter Reed Realignment, DOD Says
The Washington area will have a sufficient number of operating rooms in place by late summer or early fall to support the upcoming BRAC move from Walter Reed Army Medical Center to Bethesda, Md., and Fort Belvoir, Va., the Joint Task Force National Capital Region Medical (JTF CapMed) said Thursday.
“We are on track to make our BRAC moves on time with no reduction in health care services to our wounded warrior population,” JTF CapMed said in a written statement.
The statement followed reports that some of the operating rooms and other patient services at the new Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Bethesda would not be ready by the Sept. 15 deadline to carry out all BRAC moves. Seven operating rooms at the Bethesda facility will not be ready until May 2012, reported WTOP.
The phased-in process, however, was part of the original transition plan and construction is not behind schedule, officials say. JTF CapMed has developed a plan to defer elected surgeries in August 2011 during the BRAC transition, and to use other ambulatory operating rooms in the region, according to the statement.
Concern over whether a scramble to meet the BRAC deadline would impair the care of wounded warriors prompted the House Armed Services Committee to include a provision in the fiscal 2012 defense authorization bill allowing the Pentagon to extend the implementation deadline by one year for up to seven BRAC recommendations.