The Australian today has a sneak preview of a Melbourne University study:
Disability rate soars to 70pc for Vietnam Diggers
- THE AUSTRALIAN
- MARCH 14, 2015 12:00AM
AN alarming 70 per cent of the more than 60,000 Australians who served in Vietnam have received a war-related disability pension, a third of whom are judged to be totally or permanently impaired.
The results of a landmark study compare with reported battlefield injuries affecting less than 5 per cent, and accepted disability claims at the end of the war amounting to just 10 per cent of those who served.
The results are a warning to government that it faces an escalating challenge in providing care for veterans of recent and future conflicts as disabilities worsen or emerge later in life.
The study, the largest of its kind, found that military personnel deployed in Vietnam were 23 times more likely to be suffering psychological problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder than personnel who were never deployed, and that the longer they were deployed the greater the incidence of disability in the future.
Lead author Philip Clarke, of the University of Melbourne, said the eventual high rates of disability should be a wake-up call to the community. “Clearly the government needs to have lifelong frameworks in place for caring for veterans on their return,” Professor Clarke said. “When the government commits troops to war, it becomes an extremely long-term decision and I don’t think the community is fully aware of that.”
Compare and contrast the statistical analysis from the University of Melbourne with the home-spun thoughts of the ADF's chief-scuba-diving-lady-doctor Robyn Walker.
Australian Defence Medical Chief Says Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: “Not About Being In The Military”
Australian Defence Force surgeon general says post-traumatic stress disorder is a result of a “lifetime exposure” to trauma – not military service.