When does a Marine who is at SOI have a right to medical treatment by a private physician?
Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years military law experience.The Marine at SOI has the right to TRICARE standard. This is military heath care insurance. It is free if they are seen on base. IF they want to be seen "out in town" they have to actually enroll into the program and there is a co-payment involved. So it is not entirely free.The other issue is timing. The Marine in SOI would need to coordinate with his or her chain of command to obtain tim off, since there is limited "liberty" at SOI. There is no "right" to time off to see a private doctor.
Son had MRI that showed torn meniscus, torn MCL and partially torn LCL according to medical provider on base at Camp Pendleton. Son has had prior knee surgery involving the transfer of a McGyver tendon close to the current injuries. In meeting with orthopedic surgeon today on base, he told son that it is hard to tell what is going on---injury is so close to the prior surgical site, he can't really tell. Has ordered PT for an additional 8 weeks. Son has been in rehab for 72 days now. We want original surgeon to evaluate son and perform operation if necessary. Not willing to wait another 8 weeks for an uncertain outcome. Surgeon can't say if the PT will actually help. Can we get son to private doctor? We are located far from Camp Pendleton and son cannot travel that far while on crutches.
Your son should go to his commander. While at SOI his time is strictly regulated, so he will need to work with his commander. That said, you voice a valid concern...it may be the doctor he has seen with the military has misdiagnosed. I would expect his commander to allow him time to seek a "second opinion"There is some "legwork" that must be done...he needs to sign up for "TRICARE Prime" (this is military sponsored health care) and there is a cost (currently approx $500/year). But this will allow him access to the TRICARE services and doctors outside the military.I would expect his commander to support this. But he needs to request this directly to his battalion commander. If the commander refuses (again, I do not expect this to happen) your son can file a formal complaint under Art 138, UCMJ. BotXXXXX XXXXXne: if your son wants to use TRICARE he needs to sign up and pay for it...but once he does, he can access healthcare outside the military system.
Retired Marine Corps Lawyer, Veterans Services Officer (VSO)
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