BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - A report released on Wednesday detailing plans to restructure military hospitals and clinics across the nation excluded Keesler Medical Center on the list.
The Department of Defense deferred restructuring plans for Keesler Medical Center for further review. According to the Military Health System Communications Office (MHSCO), 77 of the facilities were chosen for an additional assessment out of 343, and 21 were selected for no changes.
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affair Tom McCaffery noted that the aim of this effort is to keep “combat forces healthy and ready to deploy according to readiness and mission requirements - all while ensuring the MHS provides our beneficiaries with access to quality health care.”
“In optimizing the operation of the Direct Care system to most effectively support the MHS readiness mission, we need to identify those areas where we could expand capacity at MTFs that offer potential for sustaining the skills and knowledge of our medical force,” McCaffery said during his keynote address in 2019. “But we also must examine those areas where facilities do not offer now, and likely will not be able to offer in the future - a platform for maximizing capabilities to support medical readiness. In those situations, we need to be open to right-sizing MTF services and capabilities so as to ensure that we are using finite resources most efficiently... while not compromising our ability to meet mission.”
Senator Roger Wicker welcomed the news with optimism.
“This report is positive news for the thousands of service members, veterans, and community members who rely upon Keesler Medical Center. I will continue to fight any attempts to downgrade its capabilities,” Wicker said.
The medical facility in Biloxi was inspected and reviewed late last year. However, as mentioned before, plans to look over the Keesler Medical Center for restructuring, later on, have been postponed.