WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representatives Brian Mast (FL-18) and Tulsi Gabbard (HI-2) today led a bipartisan letter to the Department of Defense expressing concern regarding the proposed elimination of over 17,000 military medical personnel, as well as the impact it would have on servicemembers and their families.

“I’ve always said that we need to do more for the men and women who put on the uniform for our country,” Rep. Mast said. “Potentially eliminating 17,000 military healthcare professionals does the exact opposite. These cuts could negatively impact the health and safety of our servicemembers and threaten the success of the mission at hand. More information is needed about why this is being proposed and what steps are being taken to ensure continued support for our service members.”

Military commands have been instructed to prepare for the elimination of over 17,000 military medical personnel by October 1, 2019. These include physicians, social workers, psychologists, and other mental health professional billets, some even serving in areas where civilian practitioners are unavailable.

“Servicemembers and their families have made the ultimate commitment to our country. Making sure that our troops are ready to fulfill their missions means that we have to provide the best possible care for them. To cut so many healthcare professionals runs the risk of compromising our mission readiness and operational capacity and disproportionately impacts rural and underserved areas where we already face a shortage of medical professionals and specialists,” Rep. Gabbard said. “In light of these concerns, we are sending this letter to call for an explanation for the proposed cuts.”

The letter is attached.


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