Security Fixes Recommended for Military Hospitals
A new report from the Defense Department Inspector General calls for security improvements at military treatment facilities to better protect troops, employees and infrastructure.
Inspectors from the IG’s office visited eight military treatment facilities and identified several security measures already in place. They also found security weaknesses that “could allow unauthorized access” to the MTFs, including restricted or controlled areas, leaving some areas “vulnerable,” the report says.
Inspectors also found inconsistencies among use of security guards, security monitoring and equipment, such as alarm systems, “because no standards for security guards and monitoring existed for all MTFs,” the report says.
The Defense Health Agency agreed with the report’s findings and recommendations, DHA Director Lt. Gen. Ronald Place wrote in a letter to the IG’s office.
The report recommends performing physical inspections of MTFs and applying measures—such as removing access permissions for unauthorized staff and conducting quarterly reviews—to fix security weaknesses.
Place said DHA is creating interim policies to issue guidance for inspections, determining a baseline level of protection for leased community-based clinics, and requiring personnel to enter and exit MTFs through specific doors.
In 2016, Congress directed the transfer of MTF responsibility from the services to DHA—a process that will be completed in 2021. On Oct. 1, 2019, DHA assumed management of all stateside facilities.
The agency, the report says, is working with the services to “ensure efficient and effective” operations.
Read the full report here.