Medical requirements for joining the army must be updated
As Liberal Democrat Defence Spokesperson, Jamie has called on the Government to update its medical requirements for entry into the armed forces to create a more inclusive recruitment process.
Currently people with Asperger’s or autism are unable to apply to the armed forces.
Speaking in the House of Commons Mr Stone said:
“There are people holding down good jobs and contributing to society who have Asperger’s. They are, as I say, contributing to society yet if they try to join the armed forces they are stopped at square one. Will the Government reconsider that policy because these people might make a very considerable contribution to the defence of the UK?
Responding the Minister for the Armed Forces, Mark Lancaster, said:
“We feel that perhaps some of the medical requirements for joining the armed forces are out of date. One example that I have used before is childhood asthma. If it were to reoccur, it is unlikely to do so until the late 40s or 50s, at which point most people will have already left the armed forces. But I take the hon. Gentleman’s comments on board and will ensure that that is part of the study.”
Commenting after the exchange Jamie said:
“I am pleased that the Minister agrees with me that some medical requirements for armed forces recruitment are out of date.
“People with autism or Asperger’s should not be stopped at square one when they may well have the ability to make a considerable contribution to the services. We are missing out on potentially fantastic candidates for armed services because of this outdated policy.
“Recruitment should be based on a person’s ability to fill the role and their capability in defending our country, not simply based on a label or medical condition. It is time for the Conservative government to update our armed services’ application requirements.”