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Lithuanian Military Medical History


The beginning of the Lithuanian Military Medicine is associated with establishment of the Sanitary Section of the National Defence Ministry on 4 December 1918. Lieutenant Colonel Vladas Nagevičius, later promoted to Brigadier General, was appointed as Head of the Sanitary Section.



At first the Sanitary Section was assigned to arrange sick and wounded soldiers' treatment, later it was ordered to implement health's and hygiene's requirements, to apply some of the preventive measures in the Armed Forces.

The Mobile Military Hospital was established on 25 March 1919, which became the central Health Care Institution in the Armed Forces. In 1919-1920 there were established four Battle Field Hospitals, each of them was attached to the Military Division. During the same period in Kaunas were established the 1st separate Šančių hospital and the 2nd separate High Panemunės hospital.

At the Military Hospital in 1919 there was established Medicine Noncommissioned Officers – Nurses School, in 1920 – started High Military Sanitary Courses.

After Armed Forces soldiers' demobilization and Sanitary Section's reorganization in Lithuanian Armed Forces in 1926 remained only one Military Hospital, which in the same year was named as the Dr. Jonas Basanavičius Military Hospital.

In 1927-1933 the Military Hospital was reconstructed and became one of the best-equipped hospitals in Lithuania. It included therapeutics, ears, nose and throat, skin and venereal, surgical, eyes, physiotherapy departments, a pharmacy, laboratory, prosectorium, X-rays', pathological histology, dentist's rooms. The Military Hospital had also church, medical library, separate library with reading-room for patients, radio.

During the uprising in June of 1941 the majority of military medics provided medical aid to the rebels, whereas the personnel of medical units established during the resistance war consisted mostly of nurses and orderlies.


From 1991 till 1994, to develop a unified medical service for the national defense system, a centralized supply of pharmaceuticals and medical aid measures to the national defense system units was implemented. Also, the necessary normative documents were being prepared, that regulated the work of National Defense System (NDS) medics as well as the medical expertise committee. Additionally, the organizing of checking the health state of young people and militants that were being summoned for military duty had begun.

Later, from 1994 till 1997, further improvements to the soldier healthcare systems were made: the temporary dispensation regulations of national defense soldiers were approved. Guided by said controls the characterizing data of soldiers were gathered and statically processed. Additionally, the norms of equipping NDS with medical supplies were, and the network of health care institutions for soldiers was further developed.

At this time, the Central Medical Service received invaluable experience from the USA Military Medicine experts, who organized various seminars and events to introduce USA soldier health care systems, dental health services, legislation regulating soldier healthcare and providing information concerning other multiple matters to their Lithuanian colleagues.

In 1997, because Lithuania had begun seeking partnership with the west defense system and modernize the military by NATO standards, the Military Medical Service reform was started.

The primary purpose of the reform was to create a system containing units and personnel that were capable of ensuring medical aid to soldiers during military operations for peace support missions and to civilians in times of catastrophes and natural disasters.

From 1997 to 2004, military medical personnel education and training, as well as medical logistic systems, were being created as well as medical support units. Improvements were being made on the soldier healthcare system by integrating it into the National health care. Active participation in international missions and training. Also, a legal base of law for the military medical system was being established.

From 2004 till 2007, integration to NATO forces is taking place, ATLS (Advanced Trauma Life Support course), BATLS (Battlefield Advanced Trauma Life Support course), PHTLS (International Prehospital trauma life support) courses are being organized. Also, the BALTMED and Military Medicine education center projects are completed, active participation in the activities of NATO groups, and the independent medical support unit ROLĖ 2 taking place in the Ghor (Afghanistan) province re-establishment group starts to work.

To use the health care resources of the Military Medical Service more efficiently in 2006, a reform of soldier health care institutions was started. The primary goals of the change were to optimize the number of soldier healthcare establishments by integrating part of them into the civil medical institutions, and to a assure personal healthcare service provision that meets the requirements of Lithuanian National Health Care System.

On the 12th of November, 2008, The Military Medical Service was appointed with the MD Jonas Basanavičius name by the National Defence Minister.




Updated on: 2018-03-05
Sprendimas: Fresh Media