SAN DIEGO — The U.S. Navy announced Monday that Navy Surgeon General Vice Adm. C. Forrest Faison III visited Naval Medical Center San Diego to discuss the new management of the U.S. military’s medical facilities.
The Defense Health Agency will assume administration duties over much of the military’s medical duties as part of a restructuring mandate from Congress in the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act. That restructuring is scheduled to begin when the federal fiscal year begins Oct. 1.
Faison met Friday with sailors and staff members at Naval Medical Center San Diego to discuss the transition period and assuage fears of potential healthcare issues the transition could cause. According to the Navy, the transition is intended to make the military’s healthcare system more efficient.
“Military medicine, including Navy Medicine, is undergoing some of the most significant changes we have seen in decades,” Faison said in a prepared statement. “From changes mandated by Congress, to Department of Defense-directed reforms, we have an opportunity to successfully navigate these changes and create an improved Navy Medicine to support our Navy and Marine Corps.”
Faison’s visit came the same day that Navy Medicine West, headquartered at Naval Base San Diego, held its last change-of-command ceremony prior to the restructuring. Navy Medicine West, which has served more than 675,000 sailors throughout the western Pacific region since 2005, will be rebranded as Medical Forces Pacific when the fiscal year begins.
“Navy Medicine will be ready to support the medical needs of today’s sailors and Marines,” Faison said. “We will continue to honor the trust placed in our hands to provide the best care our nation can offer.”