Priorities of Care

Military Treatment Facilities in Europe provide high quality health care for active duty service members and their families and ensures our military personnel are medically-ready to support their mission.

Additionally, Military Treatment Facilities in Europe provide care to retirees, family members enrolled in TRICARE Select and non-TRICARE beneficiaries on a space-available basis. However, availability of these appointments varies widely across the region based on clinic staffing and support to operational units.  

Space-available care simply means that if an appointment is available and not already booked, then a retiree or civilian may be seen in that appointment slot. If all appointments are booked or are otherwise unavailable, then space-available patients must seek treatment in a host-nation facility.

Priority is given to active duty family members to make it easier for active duty members to perform their military service without worrying about health care for their families.

MTFs provide health care to beneficiaries according to the following basic priorities -- as determined by DoD and TRICARE policy:

Priority 1: Active-duty service members
Priority 2: Active-duty family members enrolled in TRICARE Prime
Priority 3: Retirees, their family members and survivors who are enrolled in TRICARE Plus
Priority 4: Active-duty family members who are not enrolled in TRICARE Prime
Priority 5: All other TRICARE eligible persons
Priority 6: Non-TRICARE eligible persons (e.g. general schedule federal employees, AAFES and DODDS civilian employees)

In an overseas assignment, DoD civilian employees and their family members may receive medical care in a military treatment facility, on a space-available basis. Available services are determined based on location of assignment.

However, these facilities will treat only episodic (non-recurring) health issues for space -available patients. Examples of episodic health issues include: minor illnesses, muscle injuries and gastroenteritis. Chronic health problems -- such as diabetes, hypertension and other major ailments -- must be managed carefully by a primary care manager for continuity of care and patient safety.

Since treatment on a space-available basis does not allow for continuous management of chronic health problems, MTFs in Europe will not treat chronic health problems for space-available patients. Patients who have chronic health problems, but experience an episodic health issue, can be seen at an MTF on a space-available basis for treatment of that specific episodic health issue.

According to the Civilian Human Resources Activity-Europe website, "When a civilian employee is selected for an overseas assignment they are notified that movement overseas may require them to initiate a change in their health benefits plan to ensure coverage, and that in the overseas areas, access for civilian employees and their families to military medical and dental facilities is on a space-available and reimbursable basis only."

If an appointment is not available at an MTF, local host nation providers can be utilized for medical care. The local TRICARE service center can provide a listing of local host nation providers – but it is also recommended to check with your insurance company to ensure the visit will be reimbursed. A list of local host nation providers is also available at