American hospital ship USNS Mercy has accepted its first patients in Los Angeles as part of US military support for Covid-19 response efforts.

“I couldn’t be more proud of our crew for all the hard work they did to get us here and ready in such a short time,” said Capt. John Rotruck, Mercy’s Military Treatment Facility commanding officer in a news release.

“Being able to accept our first patients is a true testament of the teamwork between Mercy, the Navy, the State of California, the county of Los Angeles, and the City and Port of L.A.”

While in Los Angeles, the ship will serve as a referral hospital for non-Covid-19 patients currently admitted to shore-based hospitals, and will provide a full spectrum of medical care to include general surgeries, critical care and ward care for adults. This will allow local health professionals to focus on treating Covid-19 patients and for shore-based hospitals to use their Intensive Care Units and ventilators for those patients, say the US Navy.

According to the US Navy:

“Mercy is a seagoing medical treatment facility that currently has personnel embarked for the Los Angeles mission, including Navy medical and support staff assembled from 22 commands, as well as over 70 civil service mariners. Mercy’s primary mission is to provide an afloat, mobile, acute surgical medical facility to the U.S. military that is flexible, capable, and uniquely adaptable to support expeditionary warfare. Mercy’s secondary mission is to provide full hospital services to support U.S. disaster relief and humanitarian operations worldwide.”

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We so need 2 of our own ships. In a crisis such as now (loaded with tents able to be used all year round – just need flat ground) you have ready-made HMS Nightingale that can be rolled out in most of the UK wit operating theatres etc etc. When not in a crisis here can be used abroad in a crisis (1 east and west of suez/or one being readied and one on station) or regular trips to countries where health systems need it. It provides a training platform for nurses and doctors, can be used as a goodwill… Read more »