Dr Ng: All NSFs are screened, assessed

Dr Ng: All NSFs are screened, assessed
Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen (in blue shirt) and Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Defence and National Development Mohamad Maliki Osman, visiting national servicemen (NSmen) from the 724th Guards Battalion as they practised shooting at the Pasir Laba live-firing range on 3 October 2011.

SINGAPORE - PARLIAMENT

Men have been exempted from performing national service (NS) because of mental health issues.

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said pre-enlistees go through a regime adopted by the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) which screens for psychiatric, behavioural and adjustment problems.

"In the last three years, about 500 were exempted from NS (annually)...due to mental health problems," he added.

Those who are enlisted with mental health disorders are then monitored to ensure that they do not pose any risk to themselves and those around them.

"Should they require closer observation, these national servicemen are seen regularly by psychiatrists at the Psychological Care Centre," he said.

Speaking in Parliament yesterday, Dr Ng outlined the ministry's approach to NSFs with mental health conditions.

He was responding to Associate Professor Fatimah Lateef's questions which followed the coroner's findings into the death of Private Ganesh Pillay Magindren.

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