i’m writing in to unfold an standard protocol required by SAF for our annual FFI clearance, which is mandatory for NSmen upon reaching the age of 35 years old. I’m like all 35 years old, was scheduled for this liability, days after turning 35. So here goes with the standard procedures: blood test, eye test, ECG test, weight and height measurement and not forgotting, a declaration form on your wellbeing and personal details. And the final stage of the test, seeing the in-camp Medical Officer (MO).
I’m an avid runner and swimmer, who exercises regularly at least 5 to 6 days per week, but however I do have some bad habits in smoking and drinking (occasionally), therefore, as per the MO, standard protocol requires me to take the treadmill test, scheduled a few days later at the National Heart Centre.
So well, IPPT and NS is a man’s responsibility, therefore I do not even have the slightest complaint, and not to mention, I do not have any problem in clearing my IPPT. I only have problem getting GOLD! Silver to me is like a piece of cake.
A few days later and here I am, in the National Heart Centre, waiting for my turn to take the test. As the nurse was implanting all the “sockets” on my body, and explaining briefly to me about this test, a remark suddenly caught my full attention.
“Sir I need you to know that there’s a possibility of 1 in 10,000 of heart attack for this test and we need you to sign a consent form.”
Straight away, the answer in my mind was NO! For tons of reasons which I explained to the doctor when the nurse could not handle my queries.
Why should we be liable for something we did not ask for? If SAF needs us to do such test, it proves there’re some health risks after the age of 35, and why are they still implementing this and most importantly, how can they wash their hands off matters which they are forcing the citizens to do? Least they can do is to be liable in case NSmen suffer heart attack during the test.
I saw the MO again, he had no explanations for my concerns and quoted me an example:
“There’s risk to everything you do, like you chose to park your car there, there is risk of break-in.”
Any answer to him is simple, “I chose to park the car there and willing to take the risk. I did not choose to serve NS or IPPT, therefore I shouldn’t be liable for the risk.”
MO’s reply: This is standard protocol and nothing he can do about it. If I do not comply, I will get charged.
I ended the conversation immediately, and in any case, what can a Captain do to oppose such non-logical protocol?
It might sound like a small issue and I know many of you will tell me I am over reacting but I feel insulted that we are forced to sign a “consent form” or be charged. Like that, it’s not really consent since I have no choice.
* Submitted by TRE reader.