Floating hospital, hospital boat.
Healthcare on water is an old idea. Looking back into history brings up for instance the athenian fleet with the “Therapia” and the roman fleet with the “Aesculapius”. The navy and military connected ships focused to care for the wounded or to support evacuation. The Royal Navy influenced a lot of developments in the 17th century and up to the present day there are these kind of ships within navys around the world. Like the RFA Argus of the Royal Navy, a 100-bed medical complex.
When going into this subject it is hard to cover all the engagement to care for people by a floating hospital or hospital boat. Lets zoom in on three projects.
Tonle Sap Lake, Cambodia. The Lake Clinic.
Mission: Serving the underserved. Bringing basic healthcare, as well as disease surveillance and proper medical referrals to a severely isolated and underserved region of Cambodia > the Tonle Sap.
The size of the lake in dry season is about 160 km long and 35 km wide (250 km and 100 km during flooding) and connected to the Mekong River through the Tonle Sap River.
Start: 2007 by Jon F. Morgan as a NGO
Partner: Impact Foundation and others
Staff: About 20 and international volunteers
Lake Team: 8 floating villages
River Team: 1 floating clinic on the Stung Sen River
Special Project since 2015: Floating Gardens, nutrition for fishermen
Statistics of first quarter 2015: Total 5979 services provided
Survey 2008 to 2012: 13 160 pediatric visits and 17 722 adult visits plus dental care, eye care and much more
Budget 2015: 272’537 USD
11 minutes video by Todd Brown here
Vision: Creating a fleet of boats, expanded services
Photo: Jun Michael Park Seoul
Jakarta, Indonesia. The floating hospital program.
Mission: The needs of deprived community in remote Indonesia islands with little or no access to healthcare facilities due to geographic and financial constraints.
Indonesian archipelago: More than 17’000 islands
Owner: doctorSHARE Jakarta
First boat: RSA dr. Lie Dharmawan since June 2013 (2 minutes movie in indonesian)
> wood ship, loads up to 250 tons, 4.4 m high
> level 1 with Rontgen, laboratories, EKG and USG rooms
> level 2 with surgery, resuscitation, doctors rooms
> same standard as a common hospital
Second boat: RSA Nusa Waluya I since June 2015 ( 1 minute video without comments)
> steel ship, 42 m long and 6.5 m wide, 210 tons gross tonnage
> 10 beds
> emergency room, radiology, EKG, USG, laboratory, resuscitation room, consultation room, surgery facility, post-surgery room, dental clinic, doctor rooms, medical storage
5 minutes video (indonesian) to see more about the services, statement of Dr. Lie Dharmawan – founder of doctorSHARE
After first 2 years from 2013 to 2015: helped more than 10’000 patients and delivered over 500 surgeries
Lausanne, Switzerland. Mercy Ships.
Mission: Mercy Ships increases access to health care throughout the world.
Start: 1978 by Don and Deyon Stephens while living in Switzerland
First Ship M/V Anastasis, launched 1982 and retired 2007 (6 minutes video):
> 40 beds, 3 operating theatres
> volunteer crew: 350
> 11’701 tons gross tonnage
M/V Carribean Mercy, 1994 to 2006.
> volunteer crew 120, 2’152 tons gross tonnage
M/V Island Mercy, 1983 to 2001
> volunteer crew 60, 998 tons gross tonnage
M/V Africa Mercy since 1999 (3 minutes video and more videos here), largest charity hospital ship in the world – now at Madagascar until May 2016
> 82 beds (recovery/intensive care and low-dependency wards)
> 5 operating theatres
> volunteer crew capacity 474
> 16’572 tons gross tonnage (152 m long)
Mercy Ships. 16 locations. The lifetime legacy is simply too big to be placed here at codoureyrocks. As an information snack just this: M/V Anastasis, 29 years of service – 275 ports visited in 23 nations, 1 mil services at a value of 330 mil USD, about 1,5 mil beneficiaries. 18’800 surgeries and 137’000 dental treatments. Wow.
Hospital on the water, near the water. I was diving into an incredible history with such a lot of details, I am still feeling a bit dizzy. And it is just not possible to cover ALL of the actual services about hospital healthcare connected to boats. Thats why I have chosen 3 projects with 3 different missions. All of them are totally impressive, contribute sustainability and hope and deserve being recognized and supported. I was drinking almost about 10 big cups of coffee, listened to a lot of music, had some hours of enlightenment. Healthcare is great.