Malaysia and Australia continued a long history of friendly partnership with combined medical training during Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2022 (IPE22).
CAPTION: Royal Australian Navy and Royal Malaysian Navy medical officers a capability demonstration on a volunteer casualty in HMAS Adelaide’s resuscitation bay as part of Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2022. Story by Flying Officer Brent Moloney. Photo by Leading Seaman Sittichai Sakonpoonpol.
During a five-day voyage from India to Malaysia, four Malaysian Armed Forces doctors lived and trained alongside ADF medical specialists in HMAS Adelaide’s on board hospital.
Malaysian Army anaesthetist Major Yim Shao En found the experience to be highly beneficial for him and his colleagues.
“Doctors practise medicine for the sake of humanity so it is great that, in times of need, we are ready and able to help each other,” Major Yim said.
“The training we have been doing with the ADF through simulations and briefings is important, because it allows us to achieve this.
“And, if not for the movement of the ship, I felt I could have been in a hospital in Kuala Lumpur.”
Volunteer casualties suffered simulated gunshot wounds, broken bones and even an amputation to challenge medical specialists, as Malaysian and Australian commanders watched with interest.
Surgeon General ADF Rear Admiral Sarah Sharkey witnessed the demonstrations as Adelaide sailed into Malaysia for an IPE22 port visit.
“Only through practising and spending time together in these environments can we really understand how best to support each other,” Rear Admiral Sharkey said.
“Malaysia is an important, long-standing partner of ours and if the circumstances require us to work together, it is important we understand the challenges and benefits.”
The training officer who coordinated the activity, Lieutenant Joshua Lovell-Hawkins, said the activity was a capability-booster for both countries.
“I believe our strength as a team has been our ability to integrate Malaysian doctors’ expertise into the maritime health setting,” Lieutenant Lovell-Hawkins said.
“Their knowledge and enthusiasm has supported the delivery of the program designed to get us to the point where we can stand up a resuscitation, a retrieval and our operating theatre capability with the Malaysian members in the lead role.”
For Major Yim, one of the challenges in the first few days was trying to understand Australian slang.
“It took us a few days to catch on but everyone aboard has been warm and welcoming, making this a very good experience for me,” Major Yim said.
Malaysia is the 11th country visited by IPE22 members since the activity began in late September, and the third port visit for HMA Ships Adelaide and Anzac.
IPE is Australia’s key regional engagement activity, and this year involves approximately 1800 personnel visiting 14 countries.