Written answers

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Department of Defence

Defence Forces Recruitment

9:00 pm

Photo of Peter KellyPeter Kelly (Longford-Westmeath, Fianna Fail)
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Question 103: To ask the Minister for Defence when he expects to receive the report from the Defence Forces reviewing its policy on laser eye surgery particularly as it applies to persons applying to join the Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25539/08]

Photo of Willie O'DeaWillie O'Dea (Minister, Department of Defence; Limerick East, Fianna Fail)
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The position is that there are a number of physical and medical standards laid down by the Military Authorities for entry to the Defence Forces. These requirements are based on the professional advice of the Medical Corps and having regard to the nature of the job, the duties of military service and the training exercises undertaken by members of the Defence Forces.

The Medical Corps regularly reviews the medical standards for entry to The Defence Forces. The question of the suitability for military service of persons who have had laser surgery to correct their visual acuity is complex, because it depends among other factors on the exact type of surgery and on the amount of visual correction effected. I have asked the Military Authorities to report to me specifically on the issues relating to laser eye treatments and I will review the vision requirement in light of that report.

I have been advised that the report will take some time to complete in the light of the complexity of the issues arising. I anticipate that the report will be presented to me later this year.

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