Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby provided the following statement:
Today, Secretary Hagel ordered a comprehensive review of the military health system to begin immediately.
Dr. Jonathan Woodson, the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs), will lead the review which will focus on access to care and an assessment of the safety and quality of health care, both in the military treatment facilities and healthcare that the department purchases from civilian healthcare providers.
The review, which is expected to last for 90 days, will examine whether current access to care meets the department's standards. It will also examine the safety and quality of the care provided to all DoD beneficiaries.
Following the review, the secretary will receive recommendations on areas for improvement with a specific focus on those areas where we are not meeting a nationally defined standard or a DoD policy directed standard.
Secretary Hagel will be meeting tomorrow morning with Deputy Secretary Work and the service secretaries to discuss the parameters of this review and his expectations for it.
The military health system provides healthcare for more than 9.6 million beneficiaries, including active duty service members, retirees and eligible family members.