A parliamentary panel has said that there had been an "increase" in the number of psychiatric cases in the armed forces, and recommended that a mechanism be formulated to identify personnel with such problems. The Standing Committee on Defence presented its 34th report--'Provision of Medical Services to Armed Forces Including Dental Services'--which was tabled in Lok Sabha today. "While examining the subject, the Committee found that there had been an increase in number of psychiatric cases in armed forces.
In this connection, the Committee were given to understand that the suicide or killing rates in armed forces are not abnormally high compared to other armed forces in the world. "However, the Committee desire that a report may be submitted on reasons for stress, suicide and killings in the armed forces that have taken place during the last 10 years," the panel has observed. It further said that a policy for justifiable and fair transfer especially in case of tough terrain deployments must be kept in place. "In addition to this, a mechanism to observe and identify armed forces personnel with psychiatric problems should be formulated and timely psychiatric treatment provided. The Committee may be apprised about the action taken in this regard," the panel said. The Committee also said that it was informed that with regard to Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear Warfare (CBRN), as of now AFMS (Armed Forces Medical Services) has "no experience". "However, training module has been started and preparation is on," the panel observed. The Committee also recommended that "there is a requirement for establishment of more colleges on the lines of AFMC, Pune". The panel also recommended that necessary initiative should be taken to acquire a fleet of air-ambulances in AFMS and the Committee be informed accordingly.
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