Innovative “mobile hospital” deployed in record time in border region to help with fight against COVID-19.
The “mobile hospital” is a tool which can be rapidly transported and deployed to provide healthcare support. The aim of the “mobile hospital” is to encourage cross-border medical cooperation in emergency situations by allowing equal access to emergency care for citizens, regardless of their nationality. The “mobile hospital” was intended to be deployed in the event of disasters such as natural disasters or terrorist attacks and it has proven to be an effective tool in helping to cope with the pandemic.
Although the idea of the project was discussed before the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020, it was deployed on 9 November 2020 in response to the high demand on healthcare services due to the pandemic.
As leading partner in the “EGALURG Project” within the framework of the POCTEFA Program (INTERREG), Toulouse University Hospital has set up the “mobile hospital” on the border between France, Spain and Andorra. The hospital has been used in various towns across the area. The project is especially important in this region where the terrain and distance between towns limits access to emergency care for border inhabitants.
A key element of the “mobile hospital” is its versatility: it was recently set up as a vaccination centre in record time (40 minutes) in Oronoz-Mugairi, a town in the north of Spain. Meanwhile, in Bayonne (France) it has been used to relieve the Côte Basque hospital and carry out PCR tests. The “mobile hospital” is self-sufficient in water and electricity, contains an extensive amount of equipment, and has a maximum capacity of 18 patients.
The “mobile hospital” has been praised by local healthcare professionals for providing support to COVID-19 efforts. The adaptability of the project is a demonstration of how innovation and mobilisation can tackle challenges that arise from obstacles at borders.
The EGALURG Project is a cross-border cooperation network aiming to promote equal access to emergency and disaster healthcare by overcoming legal barriers and through specialised emergency training, technological development and innovation. For more information on the project, please click here.