Hungary, Republic of
Dr István Kopcsó
Balaton u. 7-11
Basic Task of the Military Medical Service
The Directorate of Medical Force Health Protection and Medical Authorities’ responsibility includes professional control and oversight of aptitude and occupational fitness tests for personnel of the Ministry of Defence and the Hungarian Defence Forces. Other responsibilities include executing the public health service and epidemic safety tasks for the MoD and HDF personnel, exercising authorized oversight of public health and epidemiological issues in the Hungarian Defence Forces, operating the HDF Public Health and Epidemiological Service and performing complex hygiene-related duties in the HDF. The Directorate coordinates professional psychological work in the HDF, conducts accreditation procedures for further vocational training at the units, provides psychological training for personnel nominated for missions, and assisting them during their sustained operations and re-adaptation. It carries out aptitude tests and assessment in procedures of the second instance for those appealing against aptitude and review decisions of the first instance.
In order to unify the Hungarian Military Medicine, the Military Hospital – State Health Centre and the Hungarian Defence Forces Dr. Radó György Military Medical Centre was integrated, and a newly established structure of an element, the Hungarian Defence Forces Military Hospital started its work on 15th November 2011. This military-medical rationalization, on the one hand, was part of the efforts of the Minister of Defence, on the other hand, plays an important role in the organization process that was started in the public health in 2011.
Joining together the organizational and coordination tasks as well as the medical support, the Military Hospital which is now directly subordinated to the Chief of Defence Staff fulfils the responsibilities in the field of military medicine arising from NATO and international agreements, planning and exercising control over the execution of complex medical tasks in collective defence, peacekeeping and humanitarian operations.
In addition, the relationship between military and civilian medicine has changed. One of the results of the above-mentioned integration was that the personnel of the Military Hospital have been increased with 400 people and the health care system has been widened as well. On the other hand, special military medical tasks have become part of the newly established structure of element.
Main medical tasks of the Military Hospital:
- Health care for regular citizens
- Trauma care in North Pest
- Health care of security services, defence forces, railway
- Health care of VIP patients
- Rehabilitation tasks
- Research, courses, training
Being a priority hospital, it has become one of the key health care institutions in Hungary that specializes in all medical disciplines except for paediatrics. Basically, the core mission of the institute is the treatment of the Hungarian military personnel as well as the claimants of the Military Hospital – State Health Centre’s predecessor institutes, so the Military Hospital offers outpatient and in-patient care for the personnel of the Ministry of Justice and Law Enforcement, the HDF and State Railway and their family members, while it also carries out special aptitude tests for the HDF and provides medical support for the HDF missions. The hospital plays a significant role in providing treatment for the civil population on a regional basis.
Besides maintaining the appropriate defence capabilities of Hungary, the health care of the Hungarian population is in the focus that the Military Hospital wishes to solve with the Semmelweis Plan. The Semmelweis Plan is the reform of the Hungarian healthcare system, as a result of which Hungary has been divided into 8 regions since 30 November 2011. Each region provides healthcare services for 1-1.6 million people, and a centre responsible for the organization of local healthcare services was established in every region. The Military Hospital has been chosen by the medical government as one of the hospitals which are responsible for one region. The doctors of the Military Hospital administer a range of special treatments. One of the strengths in the special character of the institution is the comprehensive traumatology, neurotraumatology and burns therapy, which is a priority in the HDF and also in disaster medicine. As one of the most important emergency care centres in Hungary, the Military Hospital plays a key role in providing treatment for acute cardiac arrests and strokes. In addition to outpatient and inpatient therapy, the institute conducts high-level educational activity and scientific research. The chronic and rehabilitation therapy is provided at five extramural institutions around the country.
Military Medical Tasks of the Military Hospital:
- Medical support - missions, training, exercises
- Medical check-up & fitness
- Medical screening and follow-up
- Medical training and specialization
- MEDEVAC (ground & air)
- Medical guidance, supervision and organization (Chief Medical Specialists)
- Scientific researches
- Disaster medicine
- Public Health and Epidemiology
Institute of Aviation Medicine, Military Fitness and Research – Kecskemét
The Institute is responsible for conducting activity in the field of aviation medicine, military aptitude tests, outpatient surgery hours, single-day surgery and scientific research projects. It performs aviation aptitude tests for civilian pilots, pilot candidates, ground crews (technicians, air controllers), paratroops, divers and hang-gliders. The Institute provides single-day surgery and outpatient surgery hours for the claimant service personnel and their relatives. The Aviation Medicine Research Section conducts scientific research in close cooperation with the Aviation and Space Medicine Department of the Szeged University of Science.
The Scientific Institute – Budapest
The Institute conducts basic and applied research into chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) weapons and medical CBRN protection in the field of biomedical science. It applies and broadens the specialist knowledge and develops the applied research methods. The HDF MMC Scientific Institute is in charge of surveying the patterns related to the use of drugs and psychotropic chemicals and also of conducting regular screenings for the HDF service personnel. As a prioritized field of research, it has recently launched ma project on developing a DNA-based personal identification system which will ensure exact identification of victims.
Medical Training Base – Budapest
The training and certification programs conducted at the base cover the planning and implementation of basic-level and advanced (MOS) medical training programs for the professional and contract personnel as well as for the civil servants. Furthermore, the Base is responsible for running medical training and certification courses for the HDF troops declared for crisis management and peacekeeping operations and certifying the medical specialists of the HDF. The medical training courses are aimed at providing basic and MOS training for the personnel and providing the personnel preparing for some special MOS (rescue divers, EOD troops) with special medical training. The base offers special training to the professional and contract personnel specializing in medical MOS as well as medical training for the units and staff officers nominated for NATO- and EU-led response and stand-by forces and missions abroad.
The BTR-80 armoured vehicles are all-terrain military vehicles designed for evacuation of casualties from the battlefield.
Mercedes G-270 is a military all-terrain motor vehicle designed for transporting casualties. The bandaging container provides mobility and infrastructure for treatment administered in accordance with the medical care techniques (protocols) meeting the standards of ROLE-1 and ROLE-2 NATO-compatible medical organizations.
Other Special Aspects
The NATO Centre of Excellence for Military Medicine
The NATO Centre of Excellence for Military Medicine (NATO MILMED COE) is a multinational military organization working for and accredited by NATO. We assist the Alliance in its goal of continuous transformation in the medical field. The COE is also the Department Head for the NATO Medical Support (Med Sup) Discipline. It was accredited by NATO on 12 October 2009 and is located in Budapest, Hungary.
MILMED COE currently has 11 member nations. Besides Hungary as the founding Framework Nation, 10 countries have joined the Centre so far as Sponsoring Nations: Kingdom of Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Romania, Slovakia, United Kingdom of Great Britain and the United States of America. The joining of Poland is well underway, with Poland already have deployed an officer to work in the COE.
The current leadership for the COE:
Director: Brigadier General Dr Dirk-Friedrich Klagges (MD), DEU
Deputy Director: Colonel Dr Attila Lengyel (MD), HUN
NATO Centres of Excellence
Centres of Excellence (COEs) are considered to be international military organizations that work alongside Allied Command Transformation (ACT) in Norfolk, Virginia, in the United States. Although not being part of the NATO command structure, they are part of a wider educational and training framework closely linked to NATO activities. Designed to complement the Alliance's current resources, COEs cover a wide variety of areas, with each one focusing on a specific field of expertise. They support standardization and concept development as well as to train and educate leaders and specialists from NATO member and partner countries.
The Alliance does not fund COEs. Instead, they receive national or multinational support by "Sponsoring Nations" and – related to specific projects - by "Contributing Nations" financing the operating cost of the institutions. 25 COEs have either received NATO accreditation, are in the process of receiving accreditation or are in the development stages (as of January 2020). The working language of COEs is English.
The NATO MILMED COE has four medical branches, the Support Branch and the Directorate and it is overseen by the Steering Committee, which is composed of the delegates of each Sponsoring Nation. Sponsoring Nations are NATO Member States who chose to join the Centre. They delegate Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and contribute to the Budget of the COE. The four medical Branches are the following:
- Force Health Protection Branch (Deployment Health Surveillance Capability)
- Interoperability Branch
- Lessons Learned and Innovation Branch
- Training Branch
The Force Health Protection Branch is located in Munich, Germany, the rest of the Branches and supporting elements are located in Budapest, Hungary.
Department Head Function
MILMED COE was nominated by ACT Joint Force Trainer (JFT) to be the Department Head (DH) for the NATO Medical Support (Med Sup) Discipline. This appointment was approved by the North Atlantic Council (NAC) on 25 June 2015. The primary duty of the DH is to translate NATO operational requirements into education and training (E&T) solutions within the disciplined framework.
Specifically, the DH for Med Sup E&T is responsible for matching the requirements with E&T solutions and for the coordination of those solutions. The DH will strive to ensure that the solutions identified are delivered in the most effective, efficient, and affordable manner through NATO Allies, Partners, and Non-NATO Entities (NNE). Additionally, the DH will conduct the Annual Discipline Conference (ADC), with participation from the community of interest, the Requirements Authority (SHAPE/ACO JMED/MEDAD), Subject Matter Experts (SME), E&T institutions and affiliated organizations and produce a Discipline Alignment Plan (DAP). The DAP will reflect the main developments and achievements and outline the way ahead, concerning NATO Med Sup E&T, as well as highlight the contributions to the MED Sup E&T by partners and NNE.
The NATO MILMED COE offers a wide range of courses for the medical community. Currently, we offer the following training possibilities:
- MEDEVAL (Medical Evaluation) Course
- PECC (Patient Evacuation Coordination Cell) Course
- MIMMS (Major Incident Medical Management and Support) Course
- EMBI (Emergency Management of Battlefield Injuries) Course
- EMMT (Emergency Medical Multinational Team) Training
- MPSIM (Military Psychosocial Incident Management) Course for Military Leaders
- NMSIC (NATO Medical Staff Introduction Course) - Mobile Training Opportunity
The Vigorous Warrior Exercise Series is the only dedicated multinational medical exercise in NATO, organized bi-annually by the NATO Centre of Excellence for Military Medicine (NATO MILMED COE, Budapest, Hungary) and a voluntary host nation. Its objectives always aim to tackle the most relevant questions of the military-medical realm in a multinational setting and under NATO’s auspices. The series date back to 2011 in Hungary with 5 participating Nations, expanded to 11 Nations by 2013 in Germany, 14 by 2015 in the Czech Republic, 26 by 2017 in Germany again and in 2019 in Romania with 39 Nations and a considerable civilian component. The exercise also grew in scope, with focusing on various issues ranging from the Framework Nation Concept to Force Health Protection, manoeuvring with medical units, Medical Evaluation (MEDEVAL), Concept Development and Experimentation (CD&E) and multiple other facets of military-medical sciences and concepts, and also a strong Lessons-Learned-related activity.