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On a24-hour medical readiness posture, military hospitals treat and discharge 125 patients in two weeks

Ministry of National Defense reviewed the interim results of civilian patient treatment using military hospital emergency systems


Twelve military hospitals, including the Armed Forces Capital Hospital, are on emergency alert around the clock

Top medical officers from each specialty make their best efforts

People appreciated their passion and dedication to treatment

A patient whose both ankles were nearly severed recovered after emergency surgery

A man in his 80s whose hospitalization was refused by private hospitals recovered after a successful surgery in collaboration with military medical staff

With a military hospital emergency treatment syste


With a military hospital emergency treatment system in operation, Armed Forces Capital Hospital surgeon, Army Lieutenant Colonel Lee Ho-jun (right), the head of the Intensive Care Unit, treats a civilian patient and talks with his caregiver on March 4.


The emergency treatment system of military hospitals, operated by the Ministry of National Defense, has shown the military’s dedication to delivering reliable medical services to the public, addressing gaps in medical care resulting from the collective action of the medical community. The military focused on maintaining close cooperation with private hospitals and fire stations to deliver proactive and seamless medical support as part of the efforts of the ministries.


According to the Ministry of National Defense, as of noon on February 4, a total of 125 civilian patients have overcome their health crises and recuperated, or they were discharged from military hospitals. This is the achievement of military medical officers with dedication and hard work.


These 125 civilians received treatment from 12 military hospitals, including Armed Forces Capital Hospital (58), Daejeon Hospital (26), Armed Forces Seoul Center District Hospital (8), Yangju Hospital (6), Pocheon Hospital (4), Chuncheon Hospital (4), Hongcheon Hospital (5), and Gangneung Hospital (4), Goyang Hospital (6), Maritime Medical Center (2), Air Force Aerospace Medical Center (1) and Pohang Naval Hospital (1). The Ministry of National Defense permitted those hospitals to open their doors to civilians.


An observation said that the use of military hospitals by civilian patients is largely attributed to forced discharge, refusal of treatment and delayed surgery in private hospitals. However, it also highlights an increase in public confidence in military hospitals and the excellence of military medical services. A military officer said, “Looking at the past 2 weeks’ use of military hospitals, people have confidence in military hospitals and they think that their resources and conditions are good enough to serve citizens.”


Military hospitals are staffed with the best medical professionals who maintain a seamless medical readiness posture around the clock. These medical staff members consist of long-term military medical officers who have been trained in the nation’s leading private general hospitals, experienced private doctors, and short-term medical officers. Additionally, nursing officers who were graduated from the Korea Armed Forces Nursing Academy and received practical training in private hospitals are also part of this effort.


These military medical personnel did not hesitate to receive patients with critical symptoms who had nowhere else to go during the ongoing medical disruption. They successfully completed surgeries and made every effort to treat patient in various situations from intensive care units to inpatient wards, helping them to achieve stable recoveries.

Defense Minister Shin Won Sik (far right) visited


Defense Minister Shin Won Sik (far right) visited the Armed Forces Capital Hospital on February 28 and inspected the emergency treatment system in a video teleconference with the presidents of military hospitals under the Armed Forces Medical Command.

Medical staff treated patients with advanced surgeries and careful care


The dedication and passion of the medical staff for the civilian patients in the military hospitals can be seen in many cases of treatment. A man in his 50s was transferred when both of his ankles were nearly amputated. He felled down with a sharp, heavy object. Two private general hospitals were unable to perform a surgery due to the severity of his wounds and lack of staff, leading to his transfer to the Armed Forces Capital Hospital.


The Trauma center of Capital Hospital received the report of the situation and immediately prepared to mobilize doctors. Surgery began as soon as the patient arrived at the hospital. It took more than 10 hours. The patient was in critical condition with multiple fractures. After emergency measures were taken, four surgeons operated on both legs simultaneously, with two surgeons working on each leg. The patient is receiving focused care in the intensive care unit and is showing signs of improvement, such as moving his toes.


A man in his 20s with both lower jaw bones broken is on the road to recovery thanks to the remarkable dedication of military medical officers. After being turned away by five private hospitals due to anticipated challenges in treatment and surgery, he was eventually transferred to a military hospital. The lower jawbone, or mandible, is a particularly challenging area for treatment, even for staff at private hospitals. The military hospital quickly mobilized relevant medical staff including an oral maxillofacial surgeon, and successfully performed the operation. They were able to restore the mandibular nerve, which was paralyzed at the time of hospitalization. The man is now recuperating well.


A man in his 80s with a fractured hip found himself in a predicament while waiting for an operation at a private hospital. He learned that hospitalization was challenging due to a lack of medical staff caused by an ongoing medical disruption. He contacted five higher level hospitals but heard the same answer - hospitalization was not possible. Then, he heard that the emergency rooms of military hospitals were open to the public and sought assistance there. Given his old age and serious underlying condition, there were concerns about limited anesthesia and anticipated difficulties during the procedure. However, through persistence and interdisciplinary cooperation, the surgery was successfully completed and he is now in a stable condition.


The son of the old patient said, “All hospitals said that the operation would be difficult and our family was confused and devastated. Luckily, I heard about the opening of the military hospitals to the public and so I came here. It was difficult to operate on my father due to chronic diseases, but the operation was completed with success thanks to the dedication of the medical staff. Now, he has recovered and is even in rehabilitation.” He added, “I am very happy and even impressed with the hospital. I appreciate all the medical staff who was dedicated to his treatment.”


A woman in her 70s who broke her thigh bone and elbow in a fall on the stairs initially sought treatment at a nearby university hospital. However, due to limited surgical capabilities, she was transferred to a military hospital. Her surgery was successfully completed and she is recovering in an intensive care unit. Similarly, a teenager with a pneumothorax and a man in his 60s with osteomyelitis in his feet was also transferred to military hospitals. This decision was made because the required treatment was not available in private hospitals. Both patients received proper treatment at the military hospitals.


A member of medical team at a military hospital said: “Since our medical service was opened to the public, civilian patients have been visiting us, putting increasing strain on us. However, despite the limited availability of quick treatment, most of them who visited military emergency rooms place their trust in us. We treat them with the mindset of rewarding people by providing best medical support possible, rather than focusing on personal burden.”

By Hyun-woo, Seo <>

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