DOD spending cuts hit Walter Reed Hospital in Bethesda

BETHESDA, Md. (WJLA) -- Forced spending cuts at the Department of Defense due to sequestration has now hit military hospitals and clinics all over the country – including Walter Reed Hospital in Bethesda. A recent Defense Department memo sent to military healthcare facilities even stated that patient beds in their hospitals are in critically short supply.

Stories about Walter Reed being too busy to take patients are being told over and over again by veterans, active duty military, and their families trying to get healthcare. The military facility is just too busy to taken them.

Joyce Raezer is Executive Director of the National Military Families Association, and the wife of a service member.

"If sequestration isn't fixed, it's going to get worse next year as the DOD tries to find $52 billion to cut out of its budget," she said. "Too many families are telling us if they are sick they are being told just go to the emergency room -- we can't get you in for an appointment."

The Facebook page for the National Military Families Association has been inundated with posts from the military community across the country. One woman wrote: “Getting a doctor’s appointment for my special needs son has been so difficult I just give up sometimes. So frustrating.”

There is no specific word on how the cuts have affected Walter Reed, but the army has been forced to cut all but about 6,000 of its 44,000 civilian workers at its medical facilities.