Providing medical assistance, disaster-relief and humanitarian intervention for the United Federation of Planets.
Starfleet Medical has the benefit of the pooled knowledge and technology of the worlds and colonies of the Federation. This division of Starfleet deals with the experimental, piloting and practical medicine and medical technology across the Federation. Guided by strict ethical guidelines, Starfleet Medical must deal with all medical requirements of all of the species living within the Federation.
Starfleet Medical has a range of starships to perform its operations with. Hecla class is a Saladin-derived light medical ship, Hippocrates class are the Miranda-derived medical hospital cruiser and Solace class is a purpose-designed heavy hospital ship derived from a combination of the Daedalus and Excelsior class designs. There are principal medical facilities on Earth, Vulcan, Betazed and Delta IV. Outer colonies have large medical facilities like those at the Gateway Colony in far Beta Quadrant Federation space.
Gateway Colony is the purpose-built primary immigration facility for the United Federation of Planets. This makes the colony the first port of call for all incoming alien races both known and new; it is also the first destination point for any new diseases and medical condtions that the Federation has not yet encountered. The facilities at the Gateway Colony for contagion control, quarantine and laboratories for finding treatments and cures. Even the Klingons and Romulans have historically respected the colony - although it has been known to have spies and thieves from other nations attempting to steal the medical knowledge and technology. The presence of the Starfleet Marine Corp unit is justified to prevent this theft, whilst giving an excuse to be there, preventing a repeat of the recent riots. The medical facilities give an ethical highground for the Federation Council that all immigrants are directed to Gateway Colony and looked after with the best facilities on offer. This is positive PR that was needed after the riots.
The colony was founded in the twenty-third Century to address the growing number of immigrants in a controlled method that could determine their needs within the Federation, as well as control the risk of dangerous diseases or individuals being let loose in the Federation. The colony doubled in size every decade as the Federation grew and the number of immigrants increased. The truth is, the colony has always struggled to keep up, even with the occasional grand plans to invest in and expand the colony. Run by Octavia Larsdottir-Smythe, the colony is one of the main immigration centres of the Federation. After the riots of 2309, the Federation News Service ran a series of damaging articles on the Gateway Colony. Overcrowding, with ragged refugees fighting over what resources there are; overstretched immigration officials and bureaucracy that cannot keep up with the demand. The truth is that the story of immigration in the twenty-fourth Century is little different from that of the twenty-first. The ideals of the United Federation of Planets attracts millions of asylum-seekers and refugees every year. Intercepted by the dedicated fleet of frigates and patrol vessels of Starfleet, the immigrants are led to Gateway Colony and other such facilities.
After the rioting, the presence and control of Starfleet Medical was enhanced to restore the moral high ground based on ethics. With controversial peoples such as the Ch'ramaki and Terajuni, with recent acts of terrorism across Caitian space and criminal activities within the Federation blamed on the new immigrants, the colony is under scrutiny once more. The Ch'ramaki have come to the Federation since the Arcadia hijacking in 2285, the Terajuni from the former Klingon colony as from 2294. Ch'ramaki formed their own ghetto within the Gateway Colony, re-creating ther culture in miniture. Rumours abound of terrorist attacks planned from within the Colony, safe from the usual policing methods. Disaffected Klingon subjects joined the immigration list, Zoolies and others can all be found in the ghettos of the Gateway Colony. Gateway Colny and the immigration issue has long been a hot potato for the Federation Council and many Federation Presidents. It continues to be.