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Time to review SAF medical grading?

May 15, 2012 - 1:48am


PHOTO: The Straits Times

Would the Ministry of Defence review its medical classification system so that it better identifies recruits with chronic illnesses such as asthma?

This and other questions on the issue were raised in Parliament on Monday by Tampines GRC MP Irene Ng, following the death of a national serviceman last month during training. The NSF, 21, who had a history of asthma, suffered breathing difficulties during an exercise involving the use of smoke grenades and died.

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen stressed that investigations into the cause of death were ongoing. He also said that around 20 per cent of national servicemen have some form of asthma and many have gone through training “without adverse effects”.

But he said he would take up Ms Ng’s suggestion of reviewing SAF’s medical classification system if the Committee of Inquiry recommended it.

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