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Minister must act to stop Gulf War II Syndrome.



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Graham Edwards MP Federal Member for Cowan Parliamentary Secretary to the Shadow Minister for Defence

MEDIA RELEASE

01 May 2003

Minister must act to stop Gulf War II Syndrome

Defence Minister Robert Hill must ensure that members of the ADF involved in the War On Iraq are given full medicals on their return and that they are properly debriefed before embarking on leave.

The call comes from the Parliamentary Secretary to the Shadow Minister for Defence Graham Edwards, who has deep concerns about the effects of modern warfare on troops as evidenced by Gulf War Syndrome.

Mr Edwards said the Minister must also ensure that full, complete and accurate records of inoculations, personal medical data, exposure to depleted uranium or other war-type substances which may impact on long term health are recorded and documented.

He called on the Minister to give the same commitment the United States Government has given to its returned troops in assuring a full medical and accuracy of medical records.

“The Minister must encourage Iraq war veterans to ensure that exposure to any substance that concerns them, any injuries or illness that they experienced are also recorded and documented,” Mr Edwards said.

“Iraq war veterans and their families should also be given confidential access to Vietnam Veterans Counselling services immediately following their return.

“The concerns of Gulf War Illness and the health and well being of individual members of the ADF must now be of paramount interest to the Minister and the Government.

“They must ensure these steps are put in place for both the long term interest of the ADF and those who have served in this war.”

Media Contact: Graham Edwards 0418 952 162