Aussie medical professionals complete deployment in Afghanistan
6 September 2012
Eight Australian medical professionals have returned home after a successful four-month deployment to the largest combat trauma hospital inAfghanistan.
Two Australian anaesthetists, one general surgeon, one orthopaedic surgeon, two theatre nurses and two intensive care nurses worked with battlefield casualties at the United States Navy-led Role 3 Multi-National Medical Unit at Kandahar Airfield.
The personnel are from both the permanent and Reserve forces of the Navy, Army and Air Force.
The Medical Unit includes 250 staff that provides a world class capability comparable to any other major trauma centre in the world.
Wing Commander Annette Holian, a Royal Australian Air Force orthopaedic surgeon and leader of the Australian team, said they were deeply honoured and privileged to care for the soldiers and civilians.
While everyone is confronted by the severity of the injuries in our patients, we all take on the challenge to provide the ‘best care anywhere,’ which is the hospital’s mission, every day we are here,” Wing Commander Holian said.
“The US Command at the Unit is very supportive of us, and the people we work with on a daily basis have been extremely welcoming of our knowledge and experience and willing to learn from the meshing of the international teams.
"The way the whole hospital pulls together for the care of the injured patients is phenomenal. If a casualty arrives with a heartbeat they have a 98 per cent chance of survival.”
Commander Joint Task Force 663 Major General Stuart Smith said the Australian medical personnel should be proud of their efforts.
“They have worked in an intense, extremely busy and often a harrowing environment to deliver a high-end capability that has saved lives,” Major General Smith said.
The eight Australian medical professionals who have returned to Australia from Afghanistan will be replaced with another eight who will also complete a four-month deployment to the hospital.
The Role 3 Multi-National Medical Unit performs 125 surgical cases with 250 procedures for 400 hours of actual operating time monthly.
The Unit serves to provide the highest quality medical care to coalition forces, Afghan National Security Forces and civilians injured in combat operations in the Southern Afghanistan region.
Imagery is available at the following link: http://images.defence.gov.au/12130451
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