Vietnam vets will be skeptical
Vietnam vets will be skeptical if real issues are not addressed
Anything less than a substantive consideration of compensation and the ongoing health issues caused by Agent Orange will be met by skepticism by Vietnam Vets, Green Health Spokesperson Sue Kedgley says.
The Prime Minister, Helen Clark, today announced a "working group on concerns of Vietnam veterans". She said that it was not charged with deciding on compensation, although that may be one of the issues it will raise in its report back.
"The Health Select Committee, which I sat on, canvassed the veterans' issues quite fully last year," Ms Kedgley says.
"My concern is that veterans will be skeptical about making submissions all over again unless its clear the difficult issues are going to be tackled, such as compensation for those who want it and ongoing social support and health care for families dealing with the horrible long-term effects of Agent Orange.
"The Group should also consider how we can avoid these sorts of disasters again. For example, what guarantees do we have that our service people are not exposed to similar long-term health hazards on modern battlefields, such as with Depleted Uranium in Iraq and Afghanistan?"