I worked in a MTF from 2010 to May 2012 in the states. It was a 'Clinic" not a hospital. These are 2 different levels of care.
The Hospital is deemed acute care; the Clinic is Primary care. Primary care treats routine, non urgent, non emergent, illness or acute 'injuries". Injuries and illness that occur within "24-48 hrs" that fit into the routine, non mergent non urgent , non life threatening catagories. On military base, overseas or stateside, there is "Sick call" which is reserved for active duty only. No matter where the location, clinics may or may not have what is called an "Urgent care" attached to them. In Urgent care they treat acute illness or acute injuries- such as a broken leg. If a condition requires more emergent care and the patient goes to the urgent care- that patient is sent out via ambulance to an Emergency room which is attached to a hospital aka acute care.
Korea has many US MTF 'Health Clincs"- that fall in the Primary care catagory- 9 to be exact. They do not provide the same services(level of care) as a Hospital" aka acute care
There are only 2 US military "hospitals" that I know of in Korea both have very limited services. One is Army- Brian Allgood Community Hospital YongSan- which only has 61 beds and civilians can be admitted on a "space availiable basis. Beds are reserved for active duty first first because the beds are so limited: and the other is USAF- in Osan with 32 beds and again reserved for active duty first active duty will always go to the US military hospital if overseas. If the injury is sever enough that sever and cannot be handles at the Us milirary Hospital in Korea then the patient is medivac's to the US military hospital in Japan. If a dependant- there is another wrinkle- TRICARE. The TRICARE and US military contract with local Korean hospitals for care which is beyond the scope of the military clinic facilites. The civilan US patient will be referred to a Korean Hospital locally.
Many of the Health Care clinics in Korea refer the patient to one of the neighboring Korean Hospitals to their emergency room for further treatment because the injury or illness is beyond the scope of the Health Care Clinic or beyond the scope of the US military base urgent care attached to the base Health Clinic such as a complaint of abdominal pain or a head injury or the injury or if the illness happens "After Hours" If the patient is close to YoungSan and the condition serious enough and if space is avail ble they may be Medivac'd to the Us Army hospital Brian Allgood Community Hospital. The first clue that these MTF's in Korea are only clinics and treat only routine or minor illness or injuries are their hours: 7 A- 4;30 PM. Those are never the hours of a "Hospital". Hospitals are open 24 hours. For a facility to be deemed a "Hospital" it has to have a full functionally capable emergency room attached to it which full diagnostic services- lab, x-ray. CT scan and MRI.
I had a few military active duty who were in Korea needing this medivac moving and shaking- one active duty was in acute renal failure( needing dialysis) was flown to Japan received emergent care- placement of a temporary dialysis catheter and emergent dialysis treatment and stabilized there, then flown to Tripler- stayed there for a few days to receive another dialysis catheter and then flown to Travis, California and admitted to a civilan hospital in California for the duration of the illness. This is not unusual.
Then there is the issues of needing cardiac stents. A Chest pain a STEMI /MI who comes into the MTF clinic. That patient has to be medivac'd depending on their location( if close to YongSan to the BAACH if that facility is capable of that level of care, may not be) may only be capable of staring medication drips in that ED and needing medivac'd to Japan or may require treatment in one of the local hospitals. There is a time period window for this condition- door to cath is 90 min. means the providers have 90 min to get that patient on the cath lab table. There are so many variables for select illnesses.
This is why the US military issues a warning on dependent travel to some locations in Korea. If there is a special needs child or spouse- then the bowl of wax becomes more complicated. Some of the US military treament facilites are deemed an EFMP;s and some are not, in simplified terms: if there is a dependant who requires specialized treament those special needs will be able to be managed medically because there is an MTF that can manage them such as: a diabetic dependant, a child or spouse with a mental health disorder- bipolar, schitzophrenia, a ADHD child or a child with cystic fibrosis, or a child with metabolic syndrome. There are some state side bases/assignments that can not accommadate some of these conditions and there fore the active duty is not stationed there. One example: a spouse with Insulin dependent diabetes who was non compliant with blood sugar monitoring sent to a base down south, no services to manage this in the MTF clinic on base, needed to rely on off base providers and hospitals, active duty station assignment was changed. A spouse with a mental health issue and an addiction problem was not allowed to accompany AD to Guam.
It's a case by case decision on the military"s part if the family can accompany.