Estonia, Republic of

Capital: TallinnArea: 45.339 km2Population: 1.323.824Official Language: EstonianArmed Forces Personnel: 6.000Medical Officers: 19Military Hospitals / Institutes: 0/n/aMissions: 1

Surgeon General
Ahti Varblane
Lieutenant Colonel (ret)

Estonian Defence Forces HQ
J4 Medical Service
Juhkentali 58
15007 Tallinn

Basic Task of the Military Medical Service

To support Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) personnel in healthcare-related issues, mainly primary care for military personnel, incl. medical examination through the medical board. Eligible beneficiaries are: conscripts, active duty service members, reserve component (only once activated) and injured formed active duty service members.

Other tasks include the creation of medical support plans and resources for deployable and other operational units, developing and providing military medical training and providing input for health-related legislation, guidelines etc.


SG’s office operates on the joint level. There are eleven Role 1 medical centres organic to military units and in addition one Health Centre which provides most specialist outpatient services and performs as a healthcare board to assess medical fitness for service.

There are no military hospitals in Estonia, but all military doctors and nurses are highly encouraged to practice in civilian medical facilities. Such activities are considered mutually beneficial and regulated by legislative acts.

Medical Service Personnel
Physicians (including dentists, healthcare administration and training): 35 (17 active duty/18 officials and contracted)
Pharmacists: 2 (active duty)
Nurses: 75 (68 active duty/7 officials and contracted)

EDF has currently two main training centres for medical personnel. One in National Defence College is providing courses for medical leaders and clinicians, including reservists and medical students in Universities. The other training centre is more focused on training of conscripts to paramedics and refreshing medical knowledge of the deploying units.

Field Deployments

The main focus is supporting of EDF ongoing deployments in Mali, CAR, Iraq and Kosovo where EDF medical service provides Role 1 and ground MEDEVAC support to its own units. EDF medical service has excellent cooperation with its EU and NATO coalition partners.

Civil-Military Cooperation

Higher-level care, including rehabilitation services, are provided on civilian bases. Universal health insurance grants easy access to all healthcare providers. In addition to its clinical counterparts, EDF medical service has very close cooperation with the Ministry of Social Affairs, National Institute for Health Development, Tartu University and Medical Colleges. EDF is responsible for military medical training of physician and nurses during their pre-diploma curriculum in Universities.

(status: 23 November 2023)