Monday, September 03, 2007

Report: Army seeks private contractor to handle civilian contractor medical needs in Iraq

Above: The Staff of the 332nd Expeditionary Medical Group walk the halls of the new Air Force Theater Hospital on Balad Air Base in June.

Military medical treatment facilities in Iraq have been overwhelmed trying to handle routine health-care problems for some of the more than 129,000 people working for U.S. and coalition force contractors. As a result, the U.S. Army is trying to determine whether a private medical contractor is willing to take over the job.

Last week, Joint Contracting Command-Iraq provided details on its July 27 Request for Information (RFI W91GDW-07-R-4024), titled "Civilian Contractor Hospital Services throughout Iraq." It asks whether private health-care providers might be interested in establishing "medical treatment facilities at Forward Operating Bases throughout Iraq that would provide medical treatment to contractors working with the coalition forces"...

The military's problem is obvious. As explained in additional information supplied Aug. 28, most contractors don't provide health care for their employees, and care is not authorized at military facilities except when a life is at stake.

"Nonetheless," the Army said, "military treatment facilities have been rendering routine health care to civilians, with civilian care making up approximately 17% of the outpatient healthcare visits."

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