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Last Updated: Friday, 23 November 2007, 10:14 GMT
Priority care plan for veterans
British soldier
Currently, only those who receive a war pension are allowed treatment
All armed forces personnel who have health problems as a result of service to their country are to receive priority treatment from the NHS.

The Scottish Government said the move followed recent concern over the treatment of veterans.

At present, war veterans are only entitled to priority NHS treatment if they receive a war pension.

Now all veterans with a condition associated with military service will get the same access as war pensioners.

The UK Government is set to announce similar measures for veterans to be given fast-track treatment on the NHS, and for special centres to be set up for those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Scotland's Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said: "Our service men and women do an outstanding job and it is only right that those who have health problems as a result of serving their country in the armed forces should get priority access to treatment.

"The Scottish Government fully supports these new measures and plans to implement these in a way that the benefits are fully realised."

Post-traumatic stress

Allocation of such treatment would still be finally decided by the clinician in charge of an individual's case, based on their judgement of the clinical need.

Priority treatment is currently only available to those who have been pensioned out of the forces with a specific injury.

The change would allow former servicemen and women who suffer physical and mental problems from their time in service to come forward and claim priority treatment.

SEE ALSO
Injured soldiers 'need more help'
31 Aug 07 |  Scotland
Military home to double its beds
06 Jun 07 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife
Dealing with the stress of combat
05 Feb 07 |  Scotland

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