Japan Ministry of Defense

The Self-Defense Forces Central Hospital

Japan Defense Focus No.14



The Self-Defense Forces Central Hospital
—fully prepared for disasters, emergencies and incidents

The new Self-Defense Forces Central Hospital with state-of-the-art equipment was constructed and started its operation in this April. After much discussion over the design, the following three key principles were adopted for the new hospital:

(1) Modern and reliable hospital
(2) Self-Defense Forces Hospital with state-of-the-art medical technology ; and
(3) Hospital fully prepared for responding to crisis including major disasters.

Regarding the third principle, many embodied ideas can been seen throughout the hospital. The spacious entrance hall, for instance, can be used for triage in the event of a major disaster. Likewise, the spacious hospital rooms including equipment is designed to instantly increase the number of beds in emergency situations. Further waiting rooms and corridors are equipped with outlets for oxygen & suction and other emergency equipment.

Hospital Director Chiyuki Watanabe:
Hospital Director Chiyuki Watanabe spoke about his vision for the hospital as a central medical facility for the Self-Defense Forces in all respects.

The rooftop heliport has a enough space for a 24-seat transport helicopter to land and take off. The heliport proved its usefulness, when it was used just one week after the hospital opened. At that time, a large helicopter transported a patient attached many medical instruments with medical staff.

The 90,000-ton building has seismic isolation with 145 rubber isolators and 72 dampers, allowing standard surgical operations to continue without interruption even in the event of an earthquake equivalent to the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake.

Another key design feature is the attention to flow lines of patients and medical personnel through the hospital. It has been constructed so as to minimize a distance of movement of a patient when multiple tests or procedures are required. This is also the product of extensive discussions at the design stage.

The hospital has separate elevators for patients and medical personnel to prevent potential delays with emergency patients waiting for elevators to arrive.

Hospital director Chiyuki Watanabe describes his vision of the Self-Defense Forces Central Hospital,: “The Self-Defense Forces face a range of new challenges including overseas missions. We would like to retain in this hospital doctors, nurses, and other medical staff as many as possible, so as to dispatch personnel when needed. We will expand medical study programs and research for that purpose.

Entrance hall: The spacious entrance hall can be used for triage in an emergency

Waiting rooms: Sofas in waiting rooms convert instantly to beds.

Outlets for oxygen & suction : Waiting room walls are fitted with outlets for oxygen & suction

Hospital rooms: Hospital rooms can be reconfigured easily to accommodate additional beds in an emergency.

Hydrotherapy rehabilitation center: The hydrotherapy rehabilitation center has a small pool for walking exercises.

Burns treatment center: The burns treatment center has the latest equipment.

Rooftop heliport: The rooftop heliport has enough space for a large helicopter to land and take off and a ramp and an elevator for smooth transportation of a patient.

Seismic device: Underground anti-earthquake devices include rubber supports (upper) to hold the building weight and absorb vibration as well as dampers (lower) to counteract a shake of the building.