Medical care changes at Albany Marine Base Clinic - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Medical care changes at Albany Marine Base Clinic

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November 14, 2003

Dougherty County -- Medical care at Albany's Marine Base Clinic is changing. The Base Clinic will offer primary care to only active duty Marines and their family.

That means hundreds of military retirees and their families will have to find civilian Doctors.

 Navy HM 3 Randolph Walburg gets a medical exam at the Branch Medical Clinic at the Albany Marine Base.For active duty military like Walburg, the changes in the Department of Defenses Health Services TRICARE program will be small.

But for retirees and military families, care at the Clinic will be on a space available basis only. For many, this will be their first time they have seen civilian Doctors.

Lt. Commander Gina Trotter said "For someone that's given 20 to 30 years of their life to the military, they enjoy that military connection. It difficult for them to, in their mind, be disenfranchised from that military network and that support they have had for twenty plus years of their life."

Pharmacy Services at the base will continue the same for retirees and military families. But the clinic will help the approximately one thousand retirees find civilian Doctors and hospitals for their primary medical care.

Lt. Commander Trotter said "they'll get to know that Doctor on an individual basis, sometimes a first name basis, and they will be able to insure that level of care that they can't do with the military community because of transfers."

Currently the Branch Clinic sees 15-hundred patients a month. The first of the year military retirees will be limited to only speciality care at the base's clinic.

The Marine Base Clinic will hold a town hall meeting November 25th at 6 P.M. at the Base Theater to answer questions about the upcoming changes.

posted at 3:50 PM by jimw@walb.com