Dr Andreas Stettbacher MD
Swiss Armed Forces Staff
Basic Task of the Military Medical Service
The Swiss Military Medical Service has a Dual Mission:
- Provide medical support to the Swiss troops in war and peace time, also under CBRN conditions;
- Planning and coordination of all national medical resources in response to nationwide disasters or crisis (the Surgeon General is in this function directly accountable to the Swiss Federal Council of Ministers).
Military Medical Command Structure
Organization Medical Services Directorate
Directorate of Medical Services (212 pers.) in Armed Forces Logistics Organisation with pool of 2000 medical personnel (active reserve) for Medical Departments of barracks:
- Specialist Medical Support for operations and training;
- 2x Role 2LM-Medical Support (long service – rapid reaction teams) in Armed Forces Logistics Organization (Logistics Brigade);
- 48x Role 2LM-Medical Support in Land Forces Logistic Training Brigade (26 pers./Role 2LM);
- 4x hospital battalions in Armed Forces Logistics Organization (Logistics Brigade). Each battalion with 200 beds capacity;
- 1x Reserve Military Hospital;
- 4 Medics (active reserve) with ambulance in each company with combat tasks:
– Advanced Life Support (PHTLS® first responder);
– Transport with field ambulances or armoured ambulances (civilian rescue vehicle standard);
- Role 1 Medical Support in each battalion (active reserve, 12 pers/bat, 55 bat).
Switzerland has a draft system / 38.000 drafters per year / 20.000 recruits.
Centre of Competence for Military and Disaster Medicine
The Centre of Competence for Military and Disaster Medicine (CC MDM) is in charge of education and research in the field of military and disaster medicine. The CC MDM coordinates and provides the education and training of military doctors and other health professionals. For this purpose it cooperates with expert centres at Medical Faculties and Universities as well as with further public and private institutions.
Main missions (only med unit)
Kosovo 1999 …… (KFOR/Swisscoy);
Namibia 1989 – 1990 (UNTAG);
Western Sahara 1991 – 1994 (MINURSO);
Afghanistan 2003 – 2008 (ISAF);
Iran, Earthquake Bam 2003;
Sumatra, Tsunami 2005 (N HCR);
DR Congo, Elections 2006 (MONUSCO);
Indonesia, Earthquake 2010.
The Surgeon General is in a second civilian function the Commissioner of the Swiss Federal Council of Ministers for the Coordinated Medical Services CMS. He is tasked with the overarching coordination of planning and preparation for the employment of all resources off all partners (providers) in healthcare in special and extraordinary situations.
What are the Coordinated Medical Services CMS? CMS is the permanent national network for coordination and steering of all national medical support assets in extraordinary situations of national dimensions, major disasters and war. Various incidents could cause the public health system to fail and to disrupt daily live. The Coordinated Medical Services (CMS) ensure that such situations can be resolved more efficiently.
Triple Function of Surgeon General
Other Special Aspects
The Journal “Coordinated Medical Services” is a periodic magazine for all partners of the permanent national network for coordination and steering of all national medical support assets. It is published two times a year.