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Medical Supply and Equipment

Annual Report of the Surgeon General United States Army Fiscal Year 1961

MEDICAL SUPPLY AND EQUIPMENT

Medical-Dental Division, Army Stock Fund

The Medical-Dental Division, Army Stock Fund, continued to operate as a financial management tool for funding bulk inventories of medical materiel at selected CONUS medical activities and within oversea commands. It performs this function with a home office, managed by the Supply Division, OTSG, 22 branch offices in CONUS and 6 in oversea commands. Procurement was generally effected from wholesale medical supply stocks of the MMSA, this being the operating activity for the Single Manager for Medical Materiel (Navy), located in New York, N.Y.

The fiscal year obligational authority of $24,500,000 ($1 million less than fiscal year 1960), which was fully utilized, consisted of $21 million for regular peacetime operations, $3 million for mobilization reserves, and $500,000 for special reserves.

Peacetime sales for the fiscal year were $22,100,000, including $500,000 recoveries from the Single Manager for Retail Stock Fund inventory losses. Of particular significance in this respect is the fact that, during the second quarter, DCSLOG again established an overall target of $97 in peacetime operating stock obligations for every $100 in sales. Inventories on hand increased during the fiscal year by a net of approximately $4,400,000. Actually, there was an increase of $5,900,000 in mobilization reserves, but this was offset by a decrease of $1½ million in peacetime operating stocks.

Medical Materiel Program for Nuclear Casualties

Distribution of Phase I and Phase II Emergency Medical Treatment Units, which had commenced in fiscal year 1959, continued during the past year at a satisfactory rate. The items contained in the initial Phase I program (11,585 sets) were either processed by receipt of requisitions or actually delivered to the requisitioning agency during the past fiscal year. It is anticipated that the total initial Phase II program,


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consisting of 695 sets, will be completed during fiscal year 1962, since approximately 56 percent of this program was carried out during fiscal year 1961. The total dollar value of both the Phase I and Phase II programs is approximately $11½ million.

Procurement

The wholesale stocks of standard medical supplies and equipment in CONUS depots are purchased by the MMSA under the direction of the Single Manager for Medical Materiel (Navy). The Supply Division, however, retains the responsibility for supervision and the furnishing of guidance for the purchasing and contracting at AMEDS class II installations. The extent of this responsibility is best illustrated by indicating that, during the past fiscal year, OTSG and AMEDS class II installations and activities were involved in 80,743 procurement actions while contracting for supplies and services amounting to $19,777,336. As in the past, small business firms received the major portion of the procurement actions accomplished by class II AMEDS installations and activities. During the year, small business firms were awarded 52,669 actions valued at $8½ million.

Maintenance of Medical Equipment

Continued emphasis was given during the year to effective maintenance of medical equipment. A new technical bulletin, “Organizational Maintenance for Medical Equipment,” was prepared and submitted for publication. This bulletin will provide detailed procedures for preventive maintenance of some 250 items of medical equipment. The amount of stress given to this important program is emphasized by the fact that depot shops report that they repaired 24,032 items, valued in excess of $3 million, at a cost of $471,793 during the last year. Additionally, 10,581 items were modified.

The mission of the depot maintenance shop at the Schenectady General Depot was discontinued at the end of the third quarter of the year and transferred to the Louisville Medical Depot. This consolidation not only results in a reduction of costs but permits a more efficient utilization of the Louisville depot’s maintenance facilities. The medical field maintenance shops at Brooke Army Medical Center and Letterman and Fitzsimons General Hospitals were deactivated during the year as a result of a DCSLOG policy to reduce field maintenance shops, and particularly those which did not meet the criteria as set forth in Changes No. 2 of AR 750-5.


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Depot Supply Operations

The Army Medical Service continues to support the MMSA at five depot locations—two as distribution stock points, two as primary stock points, and one as a reserve stock point. Data concerning the space allocation and workload of the five depots during the fiscal year are shown in table 10.

As a part of an overall reduction of military installations, DOD announced that the Louisville Medical Depot would be disestablished and its mission transferred to another location. Preliminary planning for the orderly phaseout of the depot stock over a period of the next 18 months has been undertaken. The new location for the mission, currently performed at Louisville, had not been announced by the DA at the close of this reporting period.

Fabrication of Spectacles

The Army Medical Service continues to operate fixed ophthalmic shops at USAMOAMA (U.S. Army Medical Optical and Maintenance Activity), St. Louis, Mo., and at Sharpe General Depot, Lathrop, Calif. Additionally, the 32d Medical Depot at Brooke Army Medical Center accomplishes single-vision spectacle fabrication for Fort Sam Houston and Fort Hood, Tex. During the past year, a total of 446,354 pairs of spectacles were fabricated by USAMOAMA, 129,721 pairs by Sharpe General Depot, and 10,824 pairs by the 32d Medical Depot. Of the total workload of 586,899 pairs fabricated, 285,789 were for Army personnel, 271,703 for the Air Force, and 29,407 for the Navy. The total workload represented an increase of 6.8 percent over the previous year.

Ambulance Replacement Program

The program for replacing uneconomically reparable ambulances at medical facilities received special attention. A firm program was established for worldwide replacements of these ambulances as they became overage or uneconomical to repair. During the year, 121 truck-type and 21 metropolitan ambulances were procured and distributed to medical facilities in CONUS and overseas This endeavor marks the conclusion of direct AMEDS participation in funding for procurement of ambulances, since for fiscal year 1962, and subsequent years, this function becomes the responsibility of the Chief of Transportation


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Depot

Gross allocated space (sq. ft.)

Percent utilized

Tons in storage

Tons received

Tons shipped

Line items processed

Louisville Medical

1,096,000

62

138,431

6,644

8,526

480,862

Atlanta General

291,000

(2)

7,125

2,450

2,328

109,184

Schenectady General

314,000

(2)

7,145

1,176

1,429

58,838

Sharpe General

829,000

(2)

22,092

8,526

10,519

312,147

Memphis General

411,000

(2)

17,411

0

307

23,109

    

Total

2,941,000

62

92,204

18,796

23,109

984,140

1Includes 20,345 tons of strategic and critical materials stored for General Services Administration.

2Space-occupancy data were not available to OTSG, DA.

Hospital Equipment Program

Lack of sufficient funds in recent years has not permitted an orderly acquisition of replacements for wornout and obsolete equipment or the purchase of newly developed diagnostic and therapeutic devices. Since fiscal year 1959, however, when $2 million was made available at year’s end for the purchase of new equipment, increased interest has been generated regarding this problem. An additional $3 million was allotted to The Surgeon General during fiscal year 1961 for modernization purposes, and $2 million was programmed for the modernization of medical equipment during fiscal year 1962. The bulk of these moneys are centrally controlled at The Surgeon General’s level. This assures an equitable distribution of moneys to meet priority requirements and also accomplishes central procurement wherever possible. Thus, a large number of similar items can be purchased through central procurement and result in a monetary saving to the Government.

Reconstitution of Major Medical Assemblages

Reconstitution of the assemblages of the evacuation hospitals (400 beds) for all STRAF units in CONUS was completed during the year. This reconstitution, including the use of reusable containers, was designed principally to reduce the total weight and size of assemblages and to replace wornout and obsolete equipment. It was accomplished at unit locations by unit personnel. Necessary funds, for the acquisition of new equipment, and technical guidance were furnished by The


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Surgeon General, through the Louisville Medical Depot. The improved transportability of the medical assemblages, which was one of the desired goals of the overall reconstitution program, was confirmed in May and June of 1960, when two field hospital units were transported by cargo-type aircraft to Chile, to provide medical assistance to earthquake disaster victims.

The remaining portion of this program —the reconstitution of four mobile army surgical hospital assemblages—is expected to be concluded during the next fiscal year.

Medical Materiel for Defense Against Biological and Chemical Warfare

The AMEDS plan to preposition broad-spectrum antibiotics with STRAC units and in oversea commands, for the prophylaxis and treatment of personnel exposed to biological and chemical warfare agents, has not been implemented due to a lack of sufficient funds. During this year, however, the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Manpower, Procurement, and Reserve) became aware of the Army’s positioning program and thought it a sufficiently valid plan to request the appointment of an ad hoc committee, with representatives of the medical services of the three military departments, to explore the requirements for defense against biological and chemical warfare agents. The ad hoc committee recommended a program quite similar to the AMEDS plan and, further, submitted recommendations for the issuance of a DOD publication directing the three services to plan, budget, and fund for such a program. When the DOD guidance is released, it is anticipated that this program will enjoy a higher priority for funding and thus be possible of implementation in subsequent years.