Excellent Treatment

Capt. Josip Fabian Horvat
First published in
SFOR Informer#156, January 23, 2003

The German SFOR Tactical Medical Unit under its Commander, Cdr (Navy) Dr. Detlef Iske, does a number of tasks. One of them is to run the modern field hospital at Camp Rajlovac, which ensures treatment for the SFOR troops stationed in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Surgical, internal and emergency treatment is guaranteed at all times, and all the requisite departments are involved.

Rajlovac - A lot of unnoticed services are provided by the German Medics as well. The services of the field hospital in Rajlovac are available to all the SFOR troops stationed in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
"We have so far during the tour of this contingent provided in-patient treatment alone for soldiers from twelve nations," says Clinic Director Col. Dr. Joachim Hoitz.
'Top-class' care
"Others come every day for out-patient care. United Nations and European Union personnel working in the country also avail themselves of our medical assistance whenever we can fit them in." So SFOR personnel at Camp Rajlovac are not the only ones who enjoy the privilege of receiving 'top-class' care.
There was a special case in Dec. 2002: the provision of medical treatment for the injured Slovakian soldiers, whose helicopter crashed on Christmas Eve in Travnik. The casualties had already been moved to the local hospital by civil forces before the crash was reported.
"Our field hospital team had a key hand in the crucial follow-on medical treatment administered, including the evacuation of the soldiers to Slovakia," said Hoitz. Maj. Jürgen Kerschowski agrees with him, adding: "The close and smooth interaction between all the members of the Clinic Coy, the RCC (Rescue Coordination Centre) and the Medevac Coy shows that every soldier can expect excellent and competent medical treatment. This is key to survival, especially in emergencies."
Maj. Kerschowski was likewise involved in the treatment of the seriously injured Slovaks. This helicopter's crash shows how dangerous emergency situations can be and how important it is that all the 'cogs in a machine' perform their functions.

Excerpts from the journal kept by the RCC

Dec. 24

•14:00: SFOR helicopter crashes near the Bosnian town of Travnik (Netherlands AOR). The three injured Slovaks are administered initial treatment at the town hospital.
•16:00: More precise information received from Netherlands surgeons. The decision is made to move the two serious casualties straight to Sarajevo University Hospital. Specialist neurosurgeons may be required, and the field hospital does not have any on its staff. The field hospital details an anaesthetist and a surgeon to provide medical assistance. The casualties from Travnik arrive at the hospital at the same time as the German medical team.
•17:00: University hospital: a diagnosis is made in the presence of the German team. One of the casualties will be moved to the Intensive care unit of the German field hospital.
•24:00: The first casualty arrives in Rajlovac. The second serious casualty undergoes an operation at the university hospital.

Dec. 25

•Morning: COMSFOR, Lt. Gen. William E. Ward, visits the university hospital and the intensive care unit of the field hospital. He has a great deal of praise to express for the immense commitment shown by the German surgeons and nursing staff and for the excellent equipment available at the German field hospital.
•Evening: Third casualty arrives from Travnik.
After visiting the injured at the field hospital and the university hospital, the team of surgeons makes a decision: the injured are to be evacuated quickly to Bratislava, capital of Slovakia.
The Netherlands Air Force offers to provide its Medevac aircraft.

Dec. 26

•10:00: The injured are moved to Sarajevo Airport. The Medevac Coy provides Fuchs armoured medical transport vehicles.
•13:00: The casualties are flown out.
Evening: Report is received that they have arrived safely in Bratislava.

Related link:
Nations of SFOR: Germany, Slovakia

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Photo: Courtesy of German Medical Corps

One of the Slovakian casualty arriving at the Rajlovac field hospital.


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Photo: Courtesy of Dutch Battle Group

The condition of the crashed Helicopter shows the gravity of the accident.


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Photo: Courtesy of German Medical Corps

Preparation of one of the casualties before boarding him into a Dutch military aircraft, destination Bratislava.


Click on thumbnail to enlarge
Photo: Courtesy of German Medical Corps

Every soldier can expect excellent and competent medical treatment.