The Slovenia Times

Army jumps in to help Covid hospitals with four medical teams


Ljubljana - The Slovenian Armed Forces (SAF) have jumped in to help hospitals cope with a large number of Covid-19 patients with four medical teams featuring a total of 20 members. Equipment for monitoring vital functions of patients is also to be leased to the UKC Maribor hospital.

The military medical teams will provide assistance at both university clinical centres (in Ljubljana and Maribor) and in the Celje and Novo Mesto hospitals.

The teams deployed to each institution on Monday consist of a registered nurse, medical technician, nursing assistant and two combat rescuers.

Depending on the needs, they will work in intensive care units for Covid-19, emergency medicine departments and other hospital wards.

Most members of the SAF medical staff are from the military medical unit, while combat rescuers come from the 1st or 72nd brigades, Colonel Franjo Lipovec, the commander of the SAF logistics brigade, told the press today.

This is not the first time the Slovenian army is helping out the healthcare system in managing the Covid-19 epidemic, as a mobile X-ray device and other medical equipment had previously been leased to UKC Ljubljana.

Today, equipment for monitoring vital functions of patients will also be leased to UKC Maribor.

"The Slovenian army is always ready to help. Providing assistance is a priority for us," said Lipovec, noting that SAF members had been actively participating in managing the epidemic since the very beginning.

These efforts include evacuation of infected members from abroad, testing, analyses of samples and vaccination against Covid-19 for members of the military and people employed in the critical infrastructure, he added.

For the time being, 20 members is the maximum that can be provided to hospitals in the long run, although Lipovec noted that the SAF would try to provide additional staff if necessary. "We will help as long as they need us."

Head of corporate security at UKC Ljubljana Matjaž Tavčar said the help was welcome, adding that an additional Covid ward had opened on Monday at the Peter Držaj Hospital in Ljubljana, so extra assistance was required in moving beds and equipment.

A crisis action team has also been activated at UKC Ljubljana to coordinate the work of volunteers and aid, with at least 19 volunteers from Red Cross expected to join the nation-wide effort in the coming days.


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