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Self-Sufficient Healthcare Logistics Systems and Responsiveness: Ten Cases of Foreign Field Hospitals Deployed to Disaster Relief Supply Chains

Michael Naor, Ednilson Bernardes


Recent disasters around the globe illustrate the unpredictability of their timing and the severity of their impact, making aid operations highly uncertain and complex. The aftermath of sudden-impact disasters, such as civil conflicts, wars, and natural disasters, are typically characterized by chaos and the urgent need for medical care for a massive number of casualties; however, damage to local healthcare infrastructures usually render them unable to deliver needed services. Foreign field hospitals, innovative self-sufficient emergency healthcare logistics systems deployed outside the hospitals’ country, constitute a temporary solution until the local facilities are repaired or rebuilt. These types of healthcare logistics system have been deployed with great success. However, not much is known about factors that may account for their success in the supply chain literature. In this study, we investigate military foreign field hospitals and explore general factors that may account for their effectiveness. Specifically, we look into military healthcare logistics systems, specifically foreign field hospitals (FFHs), to explore factors that may account for their responsiveness. We examine ten successful deployments of an experienced and effective military FFH through an exploratory case analysis to shed light into factors that may account for its success. Various propositions and avenues for future research are developed.


Flexibility, responsiveness, healthcare logistics, foreign field hospital, humanitarian aid.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12660/joscmv9n1p1-22

Copyright (c) 2016 Journal of Operations and Supply Chain Management

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

ISSN: 1984-3046


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