THE COMMITTEE'S CHARGE

Charge 1

Assess the effectiveness of actions taken by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and the Secretary of Defense to collect and maintain information that is potentially useful for assessing the health consequences of military service referred to subsection (a) [of PL 102-585, Persian Gulf (PG) theater of operations during the PGW].

The committee makes four recommendations (recommendations 13-16) in this report regarding the collection and maintenance of information that is potentially useful for assessing the health consequences of military service in the PGW. These recommendations support completion of certain data sets, prompt reporting of research findings and submission for publication in peerreviewed journals, strengthened medical and epidemiologic research capabilities of the armed forces, and strengthening the decision-making processes for study selection.

Charge 2

Make recommendations on means of improving the collection and maintenance of such information.

The committee makes five recommendations (recommendations 1, 4, and 8-10) on the collection and maintenance of information on the health consequences of service in the PG. We also give considerable attention to information systems that would be useful in future conflicts. These recommendations are based largely on experience with systems in place for the PGW that have shown some gaps and defects that can be remedied.

Charge 3

Make recommendations as to whether there is [a] sound scientific basis for an epidemiologic study or studies of the health consequences of such service, and if the recommendation is that there is [a] sound scientific basis for such a study or studies, the nature of the study or studies.



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