Clark: TRICARE Delivers on Promise of Quality Healthcare
By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Feb. 4, 2002 - Young service members expect military leaders to issue equipment and or, Feb. 4, 2002 WASHINGTON, Feb. 4, 2002 –- Young service members expect military leaders to issue equipment and orders, and to pay attention to their quality-of-life concerns, the chief of naval operations said here today.
Adm. Vernon Clark, keynote speaker at the annual TRICARE conference being held Feb. 4-7 in a downtown hotel, said today's troops want fair pay, good housing -- and quality medical care. That last item, he told hundreds of military and civilian healthcare professionals, is a "covenant," a promise, made between leaders and the rank-and-file.
In that respect, TRICARE, the military's healthcare system, has made "truly, truly remarkable" gains in the past few years, Clark noted. TRICARE health providers are "seeing to it that this institution keeps its promise," he said.
"I want you to know that I appreciate what you're doing," he told his audience.
The quality healthcare and customer service provided by TRICARE is "one of the best-kept secrets out in the (healthcare) industry," the admiral noted.
Clark acknowledged the system once had negative issues, such as patient access, that have since been fixed. The admiral noted that the master chief petty officer of the Navy recently reported to him: "We're not hearing much (bad) about TRICARE these days."
Now is not the time to rest upon laurels, Clark noted, adding that TRICARE needs to be made "as effective and efficient as we can."