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Half of the US Military Bases Nationwide are in 'Health Care Deserts'

June 17, 2024

Quil Lawrence


Source: Shortage areas: Health Resources and Services Administration's Health Professional Shortage Area desgnations; military installations: Department of Defense MIRTA database. Credit: Brent Jones/NPR

By Quil Lawrence, NPR / June 17, 2024

For hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops and their families, when the Pentagon orders them to find health care off base there is none.

An NPR analysis found that 50% of active duty military installations stand within federally designated Healthcare Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA). Those are places where medical services are hard to find — commonly called “health care deserts.”

“Military members often don't have a lot of control over where they're stationed. Certainly their families don't,” says Eileen Huck, with the National Military Family Association.

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