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Army may boost staff, oversight at facilities

WASHINGTON -- The Army said yesterday that it was hiring case managers and boosting oversight at military facilities, an announcement made after a new internal review concluded poor outpatient care extended beyond Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

General Richard Cody, the Army's vice chief of staff, said officials were finalizing a report on problems after a team of Army inspectors visited 11 bases in seven states last month to study outpatient treatment, building conditions, and the information provided to patients.

The investigation found staffing shortages, excessive paperwork, and poor training that created too much bureaucracy and long waits for injured soldiers, particularly at Fort Stewart in Georgia and Fort Hood and Fort Bliss in Texas.

Army officials also were taking a special look at problems at Fort Lewis in Washington state.

Calling the delays unacceptable, Cody and General Michael S. Tucker, a deputy commanding general at Walter Reed, said the Army was working hard to hire the personnel needed by June so injured soldiers could get the treatment they deserve.