Military Health System



Military Health System




The Military Health System (MHS) is the enterprise within the United States Department of Defense responsible for providing health care to all active duty and all retired U.S. Military personnel and their dependents. The mission of the Military Health System is to provide health support for the full range of military operations and sustain the health of all who are entrusted to MHS care.

Military Health System - Primary Mission

The primary mission of the medical services system is to maintain the health of military personnel, so they can carry out their military missions, and to be prepared to deliver health care required during wartime. This is often described as the medical readiness mission, this effort involves medical testing and screening of recruits, emergency medical treatment of servicemen and women involved in hostilities, and the maintenance of physical standards of those in the armed services.

Military Health System - In support of those in uniform

In support of those in uniform, the military medical system also provides, where space is available, health care services to dependents of active duty service members. Space available care is also provided to retirees and their dependents. Some former spouses are also included. Since 1966 civilian medical care for dependents of active duty personnel, and for retirees and their dependents who are under age 65 has been available through the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services (CHAMPUS) and its successor, TRICARE. Since October 2001 TRICARE benefits have also been available to retirees and their dependents aged 65 and over.

In Fiscal Year 2007, the MHS had total budget authority of $39.4 billion and served approximately 9.1 million beneficiaries, including Active Duty personnel and their families and retirees and their families. The MHS includes 133,000 personnel, 86,000 military and 47,000 civilian, working at more than 1,000 locations worldwide, including 70 inpatient facilities and 1,085 medical, dental, and veterinary clinics.


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