Vladimír Lengvarský MD MPH
Slovak Armed Forces
Ul. generála Miloša Vesela 21
034 26 Ružomberok
Basic Task of the Military Medical Service
Military Medical Service provides basic and specialized diagnostic
and therapeutic medical service for professional soldiers,
retirees, relatives of soldiers and civilian patients and
necessary medical and veterinary support during training
and operations in multinational military and humanitarian
operations, search and rescue and relief-works.
The Office of the Surgeon General is the central authority of
the Military Medical Service of the Armed Forces of the
Slovak Republic (strategic level). It is headed by Surgeon
General of the Armed Forces of the SR who is the highest
representative of the Slovak Military Medical Service. He is
directly subordinated to the Chief of General Staff (CHOD) of
the Slovak Republic. The Office of the Surgeon General has
In Slovakia there are two basic military forces – Army and Air
Force. At the HQ of each of them (operational level) there are
Medical Departments, which professionally manage and
command individual medical troops within military units.
Medical departments are professionally managed by the
Office of the Surgeon General but are subordinated to the
Army and Air Force Commanders. Each of brigades, AF bases
and battalions (tactical level) have in their structure – Role 1.
Similar medical structures are incorporated in the ToEs of
Logistic Support Units and Special Forces.
At the level of individual Services (Land Forces, Air Force and
Logistics) there are established Medical Departments (3),
which professionally manage and direct individual medical
units within military units. Medical departments are professionally
managed by the Office of the Surgeon General but
are subordinate to the headquarters of individual Services.
The level of brigades and battalions includes the Medical
Units (35) and their structure corresponds to Role 1.
The level of the primary medical care within the armed forces
includes Garrison Outpatient‘s Departments (19) and Health
Centres (3), which ensure the primary contact of the members
of the armed forces with the medical service. These
medical facilities are subordinate to the Central Military Hospital.
These facilities provide the first specialized medical
care for members of the armed forces of the SR. The medical
units in the military units perform tasks mainly within the
area of medical training and medical provision of military
exercises, and their structure corresponds to Role 1.
Central Military Hospital, Ružomberok (CMH Ružomberok):
CMH Ružomberok takes an important position in the wide
web of military health care facilities. It is the largest military
hospital in the territory of the Slovak Republic with its cca
1360 employees. This hospital belongs to the group III.A.
type hospitals. The founder is Ministry of Defence of the SR.
Military Hospital in Ružomberok was renamed to Central
Military Hospital Ružomberok on September 1, 1994. The
hospital consists of 18 clinics/wards. Its 400 beds are
placed in 5 bed pavilions. The hospital contains one large,
beautifully shaped and maintained hospital garden, offering
beautiful environment for patients. All the hospital sections
are fully supplied by 257 doctors. Hospital has accreditation
to offer University level of education for hospital medical
staff in cooperation with Catholic University in Ružomberok
and its 22 doctors acquired a PhD and 6 doctors Assoc Prof
and Prof Degrees. There is a number of qualified nurses and
medical laboratory technicians of different technicality
employed in the category MHSP (Middle health service personnel)
and other LHSP (Lower health service personnel). Primary
health care for military personnel, their relatives and
civilians in peace time on the territory of Slovakia is provided
by Garrison Outpatient‘s Departments (18) and Health Centres
(3), which are subordinated to the Central Military Hospital.
These facilities ensure first specialized medical care.
Military aviation staff undergoes regular examinations at the
Institute of the Aviation and Preventive Medicine in the
Aviation Military Hospital, Košice, which is the only of its
kind in Slovakia. Team lead by three 2nd degree specialized
doctors provides examinations required by national law for
all civilian air staff as well. Formerly mentioned hospitals
together with St. Michal Hospital in Bratislava perform
through their Occupation Medicine Depts. check up of every
soldier leaving for and returning from the operation. Every
soldier returning from the operation in epidemiologically
dangerous area is immediately isolated for 5 day lasting quarantine
in Specialised Institute for Pulmonary Diseases
where all necessary examinations are performed.
Tasks in the area of the public health service are covered by
the Military Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Bratislava
(VUHE). Besides the tasks within this area, the VUHE
also provides vaccination for the members of the armed forces
who are sent abroad to carry out tasks in the foreign missions.
Vaccination scheme is individual for every operation.
Force health protection includes veterinary support with their
task not only in military animal health care but in food and
water safety and epidemiology. Vets provide decontamination
of material returning from the operations abroad to prevent
spreading of non-indigenous diseases.
Medical assessments of soldier’s health are performed by a
working group of doctors with a specialisation in this field.
All these institutions work closely together under the
supreme control from the Office of the Surgeon General.
Number of the Medical Service Personnel in Slovak Armed
Forces (excluding personnel in hospitals):
• Qualified physicians – 69 officers, 10 civilians
• Qualified dentists – 2 officers
• Pharmacists – 2 officers/1civilian
• Veterinary surgeons – 14 officers
• Assisting/nursing/supporting personnel – 289 soldiers,
Each individual in Slovak Armed Forces is trained for Tactical
Medical Care and Field Hygiene. Before deployment a Combat
Life Saver Course is obligatory for every medic embedded
to a deployed unit. BATLS/BARTS courses for physicians and
nurses in emergency medicine before deployment are
provid ed by Central Military Hospital.
To keep the skill of medical, veterinary and laboratory
specia lists, personnel carries out their every day duties in
military and civilian hospitals/laboratories. Specialized education
and training of military medical specialists (physi -
cians and nurses) is provided by accredited civil medical
facilities (e.g. Slovak Medical University). We do not provide
live tissue training since it is not allowed by Slovak legislature.
The medical units at the level Role 1 are the main medical
unit in the Slovak Armed Forces. It varies in size according to
a character of the unit. Usually it comprises between 15 –
25 medical service members (physicians, nurses and drivers).
There are 26 Roles 1 in Slovakia. The medical staff
guarantees medical support for the unit. They provide train -
ing of every unit member in first aid, in the principles of field
hygiene, in the use of personal medical and protective de -
vices and equipment, as well as in transferring the wounded
from a battlefield. Naturally, they provides medical support
for training the forces both at the garrison and at the military
training areas and are responsible for medical material
The Office of the Surgeon General has at its disposal a field
mobile medical unit, which is able to provide medical care at
the level Role 2E. The personnel of this unit perform its con -
tinuous specialized training in the Slovak Republic in a
variety of accredited medical facilities, which operate under
the competence of the Ministry of Defence or the Ministry of
Health of the Slovak Republic. Most of the Role 2E members
have experience with deployment in NATO and UN-led international
crisis management operations. During their deployment outside
the Slovak Republic (states of the former Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan,
East Timor, the Golan Heights, Cyprus and Lebanon), they showed
their professional erudition, as well as the interoperability in the
In 2013 the unit underwent an international evaluation
based on NATO standards and part of the unit was in -
corporat ed in EU BG 2016 preparation.
RDOIT and PREVMED
These small easily manoeuvrable and deployable units perform
their special tasks in variety of Force Health Protection
and CBRN environment situations.
Equipment used for medical evacuation
At the level Role 1, for the purposes of medical evacuation,
we use wheeled equipment and armoured vehicle Tatrapan
produced in the Czech Republic. The number of the tracked
vehicles and equipment designed for combat activities is
limited. The level Role 2 uses mainly wheeled equipment.
The Slovak armed forces provide the Air Search and Rescue
Service, but its range is limited within the Slovak Republic.
Strategic air evacuation is provided in cooperation with
NATO countries under international agreements as the Slovak
Republic has no aircraft available for such evacuation.
Missions running in 2014 (except observer’s missions):
Operation Nr. of physicians Nr. of medics
ISAF 1 9
UNFICYP 1 2
The Slovak military medical service co-operates very closely
with the civil medical service. The basic special preparation
of potential medical care specialists links to specialised
accredited workplaces within civilian service. Only those
who successfully complete the basic special preparation can
apply for jobs within the military medical service, but before
doing so, they have to go through special preparation in the
Armed Forces Academy in Liptovský Mikuláš. The military
medical service closely co-operates with civil medical facilities,
which provide specialized examination the military
medical services cannot provide (e.g. National Institute of
Cardiovascular Diseases, etc.). The medical service members
participate in solving crisis situations in the territory of the
Slovak Republic (e.g. flooding, influenza pandemic, etc.)