Title: With Healing Hands – The untold story of Australian civilian surgical teams in Vietnam
Author: McKay, Gary and Stewart, Elizabeth
Edition: 1st Edition
Publication Date: 2009
Cover: Soft Cover without Dust Jacket – 228 pages
Comments: Over 450 Australian civilian professionals volunteered and went to Viet Nam during the war to help the civilian population.
This is their extraordinary story.
Early in the Vietnam War the South Vietnamese government appealed to the United States and its allies, including Australia, for desperately needed medical help. Most of the country’s doctors had been conscripted into the army and the civilian population was facing a medical crisis.
From October 1964 until the end of 1972 over 450 surgeons, nurses and other medical specialists from Australian hospitals volunteered to work in South Vietnam. In the towns of Long Xuyen, Bien Hoa, Vung Tau and Ba Ria they brought expert medical care, comfort and support to a war-weary and traumatised civilian population.
The extraordinary story of the work of these Australian civilians at war is told here for the first time. Based on interviews with many of those who served in the teams, it tells of what they did, and how they stayed sane in a place which at times tested the limits of their endurance.
About Gary McKay Elizabeth Stewart
GARY McKAY served as a rifle platoon commander in South Vietnam where he was decorated for gallantry and severely wounded. He retired from the Army in 1998 and is now a full time non-fiction writer and freelance historian. ELIZABETH STEWART is an historian in the Military History Section at the Australian War Memorial. She has worked on The Official History of Australia’s Involvement in Southeast Asian Conflicts 1948-1975, and developed the Vietnam section of the Memorial’s new Conflicts 1945 to Today galleries.