Saturday, December 5, 2009

Chinese Hospital Ship Prepares for South China Sea



China’s Type 920 hospital ship (hull code 866) returned back to a Chinese navy port in Sanya, Hainan province of China on Nov. 28, 2009, after it completed a 39-day medical-service mission to 14 reefs and 4 service points of Chinese navy in South China Sea. During this mission Ship 866 sailed 5,000 nautical miles and served 8,000 military and civilian patients on the trip period.

Analysts believe the purpose of the mission is to get experience for Chinese medical service in South China Sea. In China, the Type 920 hospital ship 866 is called “Peace Ark”. It was designed by China independently in 2005 and then built by China Guangzhou Shipyard. October 2008 it was commissioned in Chinese navy East China Sea Fleet. During wartime, the ship is capable of providing medical treatment for military personnel in the war zone, in particular in an amphibious assault operation. If necessary, the ship could also be deployed for humanitarian relief operations in disaster-devastated regions near coast.

The ship has a total of about 300 beds and 8 operating rooms for patients, as well as other 2,400 medical treatment facilities including CT scan machines, X-ray machines, air purifiers, etc. Fresh water is available 24 hours a day on board, even for hot water showers. Because it is a 10,000-ton ship, the patients won’t feel sea sick even under the sea state of five (sea wave 2.5 to 4 meter high).

The ship uses personal digital assistant (PDA) mobile system to record patients’ information into computer server on board via wireless network on ship. Each medical department can know each patient’s information in time on blood type, position of hurts on body, etc. from a network terminal.

The ship is equipped with a Z-8JH helicopter. It also has a single-spot flight deck and a hanger at stern. This enables patients to be airlifted by helicopter at up to sea state of four (Sea wave 1.25 to 2.5 meter high), The ship is unarmed, and white painted, with the red cross symbol clearly visible to be protected under the international laws of war itemed in the Geneva convention protection.