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Mostar's Hospital:
French-Spanish co-operation

By Cpl. Nicolas Marut
First published in
SFOR Informer #89, June 7, 2000

Mostar - The French field hospital of Mostar-Ortijes, in MND-SE, has just changed its way of working. Since last April 19th, the surgery section of this 2nd level medical structure has begun rotating every two months between a Spanish and a French team. "Before, a small Spanish medical structure functioned next to ours", explained Col. Yves André, commanding the unit. "With the SFOR restructuring, its presence was no more necessary because needs are less important. This regrouping allows us to reduce personnel resources".

The Spanish surgery team is composed of two surgeons, an anaesthetist, a surgeon-dentist and three nurses. Based in Madrid, they will be present until the end of June, before being replaced by a French team. French staff at the hospital, carry out consultations. They are also in charge of MEDEVAC (Medical Evacuations) and the Medical repatriations. Including the logistical team, about 45 people are working in this unit.

Dedicated to French Dr. Eric d'Orleans, killed in Sarajevo on July 22, 1992, the French field hospital of the MND-SE was established in 1995. It manages an average of 30 hospitalisations and 500 consultations per month. Its main task is to give the first aid and emergency treatment, and to stabilise patients before their evacuation toward the German 3rd level hospital of Rajlovac, or toward a European hospital. In case of emergency, operations can be carried out in Mostar. With an analyses laboratory, a resuscitation service, an operating theatre and an X-ray room, the hospital is an ultramodern structure "whose facilities are perfectly adapted to this mission", underlined Col. André. As a field hospital, it is able to receive a large number of injured people at a time. "We have eight hospitalisation beds, but we can add fifty more very quickly", explain French Capt. Eric Barrat, general practitioner.

The spanish team has become totally integrated into the medical structure. "There are some minor differences in their way of working", underlined a french doctor. "But the skills are the same. Medicine is universal".

Related link:
Nations of SFOR: France, Spain