FORT HOOD — The squeeze of the government shutdown is causing a slowdown in medical services at Fort Hood’s Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center.

Patients can now expect delays in routine medical documentation requests, medical record copies and patient advocate representatives addressing concerns, because of a cut to operating hours in the patient administration office.

No additional employees were furloughed last week, officials said.

Officials were uncertain Saturday how Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s decision to recall most of the Pentagon’s furloughed civilian workers as early as Monday would impact services at Darnall. The Pentagon said civilian employees would be notified over the weekend about when to return to work.

ER stays open

Despite a lack of appropriated funds, the hospital will remain open every day for emergency and urgent care services, inpatient care and labor and delivery services, the release stated.

All other operations also will continue.

Additionally, the Robertson Blood Center is open and able to accept blood donations on a walk-in basis Monday through Friday.

Darnall officials said they will continue to reassess services and activities in the lapse of appropriated funds.

“We are committed to minimizing disruption in the delivery of quality care our soldiers, families and veterans deserve and expect, and we will remain positive and focused on meeting our beneficiaries’ needs during every patient encounter,” said Col. Patricia Darnauer, Darnall commander.

If beneficiaries are uncertain about the status of a scheduled appointment, they can call 254-288-8888.

Rose L. Thayer is the military editor for the Killeen Daily Herald. She joined the paper in February 2011 as a health and military reporter. View her complete profile Here. You can contact Rose L. Thayer at rthayer@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7463. Follow her on Twitter at KDHmilitary.

Rose L. Thayer is the military editor for the Killeen Daily Herald. She joined the paper in February 2011 as a health and military reporter. View her complete profile Here.

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