Now NS trainees have to undergo a compulsory medical examination. This, according to the Director General of the National Service Training Programme is to prevent medical mishaps among trainees.
The logic involved in the medical service is mind boggling. Assumed there are 140,000 trainees divide into 87 camps, each camp will hold average 1600 trainees. The question arises to its effectiveness in the medical screening, since screening is done in the camp by the medical officers. A cursory medical examination will not detect any medical condition in the trainees. The quality on effectiveness comes into question.
Death due to mishaps including accidents and medical conditions will occur in a big batch of trainees. Now will a medical examination by a medical officer in the camp detect any conditions and hence prevent any unfortunate casualty?
The answer, I am afraid is unlikely. Often such medical conditions can often be picked up in the medical questionnaires if it is answered truthfully.
If we analyze death among the trainees, due to medical conditions while undergoing training, about 10 death out of 300,000 trainees (if memory do not fail me). This is become obvious the whole exercise of medical screening need a relook.
Death among the trainees should be prevented at all costs. It is traumatic to the trainees and family members when it’s occurred. Medical examination in the camp is not the best method to pick up the potential candidates. It is the answers they provide in the medical form that will provide the biggest clue, not a physical medical examination by the doctor in the camp.
Trainees must be truthful in answering the question in the health declaration form. They should not think the medical screening will pick up all the medical conditions. If they do so, I am afraid they may be more medical mishaps, despite the medical screening and is provide more ammunition for an outcry.