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RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany — The Army and the Air Force have signed an agreement that will merge health care for patients in the Kaiserslautern area.

The pact between the services will combine medical staffs and will mean patients in the area will go to Ramstein Air Base for primary care and Army’s Landstuhl Regional Medical Center for specialized treatment. The air base and hospital are about five miles apart.

Army Brig. Gen. Carla Hawley-Bowland, commander of the Europe Regional Medical Command, and Air Force Col. Mark Ediger, U.S. Air Forces in Europe command’s surgeon general, signed the Kaiserslautern Military Community Joint Healthcare Shared Vision statement on Friday.

The agreement aims to slash redundancies, pool resources and make medical care more efficient for the 43,000 patients in the area. The Kaiserslautern area is the U.S. military’s largest community outside of the United States. Staffs from both the Army and Air Force have been working for months to find ways to consolidate health-care functions.

“It’s been a real collegial effort here with everybody going for the greater good of taking care of patients and getting the job done more efficiently,” Hawley-Bowland said.

Ediger said having the services merge health operations in the area will be better for patients because primary care will be in one location.

As part of a comprehensive plan to streamline health care in the area, the services plan to build a $77 million clinic at Ramstein and add a $240 million building at Landstuhl. Designers are eyeing Ramstein’s base exchange as a possible site for the larger clinic. The military already plans to move the exchange to a hotel and mall complex closer to the flight terminal.

The military plans to build a temporary addition to the current Ramstein clinic until a permanent center is built on base.

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