Defense Health Care. Improvements Needed in Occupational and Environmental Health Surveillance during Deployments to Address Immediate and Long-term Health Issues
GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE WASHINGTON DC
Pagination or Media Count:
Following the 1991 Persian Gulf War, research and investigations into the causes of servicemembers unexplained illnesses were hampered by inadequate occupational and environmental exposure data. In 1997, the Department of Defense DOD developed a military-wide health surveillance framework that includes occupational and environmental health surveillance OEHS--the regular collection and reporting of occupational and environmental health hazard data by the military services. GAO is reporting on 1 how the deployed military services have implemented DODs policies for collecting and reporting OEHS data for Operation Iraqi Freedom OIF and 2 the efforts under way to use OEHS reports to address both immediate and long-term health issues of servicemembers deployed in support of OIF. GAO recommends that the Secretary of Defense improve deployment OEHS data collection and reporting and evaluate OEHS risk management activities. GAO also recommends that the Secretaries of Defense and Veterans Affairs VA jointly develop a federal research plan to address long-term health effects of OIF deployment. DOD plans to take steps to meet the intent of our first recommendation and partially concurred with the other recommendations. VA concurred with our recommendation for a joint federal research plan.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Medicine and Medical Research
- Environmental Health and Safety
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics