SWEDISH FIELD HOSPITAL FOR KOREA


Two days after North Korea invaded South Korea, June 25, 1950, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution asking all U.N. member states to support South Korea. The Swedish government responded on July 14, 1950 by authorizing the dispatch of a 200-bed mobile field hospital. This hospital unit consisted of 174 doctors, nurses, medical specialists and support personnel. All were volunteers.

The first group left Stockholm, Sweden on August 26, 1950, arriving at Pusan, Korea on September 23rd, where it set up in the Pusan Commercial Middle School compound. It received its first patients on September 25th.

A few days earlier U.S. Tenth Corps landed at Inch’on and advanced toward Seoul while other UN forces broke out of the Pusan Perimeter, the 60 by 70-mile southeast corner of Korea where they retreated while building up their own forces. Because of the tactical situation the UN Command decided the Swedish hospital would be of more value as 400-bed evacuation hospital at Pusan than a 200-bed mobile field hospital, thus Pusan became the base for the hospital throughout the war. Bed space was later increased to 600 beds. Between September 25, 1950 and December 31, 1953, the hospital treated 19,100 United Nations personnel and 2,400 Korean personnel. After the ceasefire the hospital remained at Pusan, operating more-or-less as civilian hospital until April 1957. Even after closing, a small group stayed on until the autumn of 1958 supporting the Korean National Red Cross.

During the war a total of 1,124 Swedish men and women served at the hospital in Pusan.

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