HC Deb 10 March 1999 vol 327 cc208-9W
Mr. Steinberg

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what plans he has to introduce testing for British Gulf War veterans using protocols recommended by Dr. Asaf Durakovic; [74716]

(2) what discussions his Department has held with Dr. Asaf Durakovic; and if he will make a statement. [74715]

Mr. Doug Henderson

Dr. Asaf Durakovic is Clinical Professor of Nuclear Medicine at Georgetown University, Washington DC. He discussed his current work in general terms with MOD officials at a meeting last month, when he explained that, in conjunction with others, he is carrying out a study into uranium levels amongst veterans of the 1990–91 Gulf conflict, in which a small number of UK Gulf veterans are participating. Our understanding is that Dr. Durakovic and his colleagues plan to publish their findings later this year: hence we look forward to seeing full details of the methodology they are using and the results obtained in due course.

MOD continues to advise UK Gulf veterans who are concerned that their health has been adversely affected by service during the Gulf conflict, including by possible exposure to depleted uranium (DU), that they are entitled to seek a referral to the Gulf veterans' Medical Assessment Programme (MAP) for a full medical assessment. Any tests which are considered clinically appropriate by the examining MAP physician, including those to detect the presence of uranium, will be arranged.