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Maine delegation raises alarm over DOD plans to restructure Portsmouth's naval health clinic

Maine's congressional delegation is raising concerns about a restructuring plan that they say could affect thousands of people who rely on the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard's Health Clinic.

In a letter to the U.S. Department of Defense, the delegation cites a recent department report that includes the clinic on a list of facilities that could be part of a military health care restructuring effort, which could limit access to the clinic to only active-duty service members.

The representatives say that restriction could force more than half of the clinic's patients to have to go elsewhere for care — a challenge for many with limited access to transportation. The letter says the change could also overwhelm local health providers with new patients.

The delegation is requesting a briefing from the Department of Defense on the issue within 30 days.