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New Zealand Medical Services in Middle East and Italy

Revision of Medical Boarding

Revision of Medical Boarding

In April after a good deal of discussion, approval was given by Headquarters 2 NZEF to a revision of medical categories for boarding purposes as recommended by DMS 2 NZEF. A terminology more suitable to 2 NZEF was drawn up.

It had become increasingly clear that the terms previously in use did not fit the conditions under which 2 NZEF was operating. The terminology in use had been devised in 1938 by a committee sitting in New Zealand, with the sole object of classifying members of the civil community for service in the armed forces. It had been found that there was an increasingly large number of men with small medical disabilities who were really fit enough to serve in the field, and, in fact, for whose return units asked, as they could be quite well employed on such duties as clerical work or vehicle driving. In recent months, owing to a comparative shortage of manpower, it page 469 had become increasingly necessary to ensure that where at all possible suitable personnel of lower medical category than Grade I should be utilised in the Division.

The new grades overcame some difficulties and apparent inconsistencies by a clear separation from the categories originally evolved in New Zealand and the use of the letters A to E for grades instead of numerals 1 to 4.1 The categories particularly emphasised the venue of employment of the individual in 2 NZEF.

In conjunction with this change, which became effective from 1 June 1943, some revisions were made in the medical boarding form, NZEF Form 22. The system as thus amended remained unaltered until the end of the war.

In regard to medical boarding, DMS 2 NZEF at a conference with commanding officers of hospitals on 15 March said that on the whole the standard of medical boarding in 2 NZEF was very high, and that in not one single case had there been a complaint from New Zealand that reports were inadequate.

1 Grade A—Fit for general service in 2 NZEF. Grade B—Fit for general service except for minor disabilities as specified. Grade C—Fit for service in medical or administrative units on L of C only. Grade D—Fit for service in base camp or base medical units only. Grade E—Unfit for any service with 2 NZEF.

With reference to Grade B, the disability was to be specified in the man's paybook.