Armed Forces Royal Medical Corps team to be deployed to Turkiye on Feb 10, says Tok Mat

KOTA KINABALU: The Malaysian Armed Forces will be sending 106 medical personnel to earthquake-stricken Turkiye to set up a field hospital, says Defence Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan.

Speaking after a work visit to the Lok Kawi army camp here on Thursday (Feb 9), he said the team and equipment are expected to be sent off on an Airbus A400 military plane starting 2am from Subang on Friday (Feb 10).

“Following the request from the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) and after discussing with the Turkiye Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, we have mobilised our medical corps to send a field hospital team.

“We are sending three ‘Level 1’ and one ‘Level 2’ structures.

“Level 1 is for emergency (ER) and Level 2 has operating rooms, with a manpower force of 106 with 41 doctors,” he said, adding that the field hospital’s load is about 44 tonnes.

Mohamad said since they are not certain which locations need the manpower, Malaysia would leave it to the Turkiye government to station the medical team where needed.

“We have estimated that they will be there for six weeks, so we must bring our own supplies.

“We have to be self-sufficient and can look after ourselves – we cannot depend on the host country which is struggling now.

“Our personnel there are also advised to be vigilant for aftershocks,” he added.

Meanwhile, he said there was a request for an additional 60 personnel for search and rescue (SAR) operations which Malaysia would deploy within 48 hours.

Malaysia has been extending humanitarian aid to Turkiye after a 7.8 Richter scale earthquake hit southern Turkiye and northwestern Syria on Monday (Feb 6).

So far, two Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (Smart) have been deployed.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, in a press conference earlier, also said Malaysia would donate over US$2mil (RM8.6mil) to the two affected countries to help earthquake victims.

Mohamad was in Kota Kinabalu for a one-day work visit and visited the Sepanggar naval base before going to the Lok Kawi army camp. He received briefings from both sides on the organisation, operation and assets of both bases.