What is the News?
The government has issued a Request for Information (RFI) for a national hospital ship (NHS) for the Navy that will act as a floating 250-bed hospital on the high seas.
What is the National Hospital Ship (NHS)?
The hospital ship is the first such ship for the Indian Navy. The vessel will comply with the Geneva Convention and accordingly painted white with the Red Cross displayed prominently on the ship side and on top.
What are the specifications of NHS?
Capacity of NHS: The NHS will have aerial evacuation and boat ambulance facilities and should have the capacity to carry 600 personnel on board, including the crew, doctors and patients.
According to RFI, the ship “should have a capability for operating independently as a 250-bedded hospital providing primary and secondary health care” and have two patient reception areas to facilitate easy reception and transfer of casualties. One of these will be closer to the chopper deck.
Timeline of NHS: Based on the responses to the RFI, the Navy will issue the Request for Proposals to eligible Original Equipment Manufacturers through an Indian vendor. Once the contract is signed, the Navy wants the ship to be delivered in four years after that.
About Geneva Conventions
The Geneva Conventions (1949) and their Additional Protocols are international treaties that contain the most important rules limiting the barbarity of war.
They protect people who do not take part in the fighting (civilians, medics, aid workers) and those who can no longer fight (wounded, sick and shipwrecked troops, prisoners of war).
Source: The post is based on the article “Navy issues RFI to get 250-bed hospital ship in the high seas” published in Indian Express on 24th May 2022.