The U.S. has no plans to draft medical professionals into military service, Assistant Secretary of Defense William Winkenwerder told reporters. Winkenwerder was responding to concerns raised by a New York Times article Tuesday saying that the Selective Service has been updating a contingency plan for a draft of doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals if needed. Winkenwerder said the Selective Service is required by a 1987 law to periodically update the plan but that a contingency plan for a draft is unnecessary. The military, with 130,000 active-duty medical personnel and a worldwide network of hospitals and clinics, already is prepared for any contingency, he said. Providers should "absolutely not" be worried about losing medical staff to a draft, he said. A Selective Service spokesman said the agency updated its contingency plan because of the law and the update had "nothing to do with the current international scene." -- by Jeff Tieman
U.S. says no plans to draft medical personnel
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