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October 14, 2010
IN THE September 30 edition
of Navy News (vol 53, no 18,
pages 14-15), a story on HMAS
Parramatta's return from opera-
tions contained several errors.
WO Stephen Downey's rank
was incorrectly stated as CPO.
HMAS Parramatta was identified
as an FFG frigate, not an FFH.
In addition, AB Isaac Ingui is pic-
tured with his nephew, not his son.
or discharged as medically unfit for
A decade of experience -- includ-
ing operational deployments, exer-
cises, incidents and boards of inquiry
-- revealed areas for improvement and
prompted Chief of the Defence Force
to order a review in May 2008.
The system has undergone a com-
plete overhaul, after extensive consul-
tation confirmed it was not meeting
the ADF's modern workforce manage-
The revised system, to be phased in
over two years from July 2010, adds
new sub-classifications to MEC 3 and
4, increases the number of MEC cate-
gories from four to five and provides a
clearer distinction between deployable
and non-deployable categories.
The first change is the addition of
two new sub-classifications, providing
two years' rehabilitation time for seri-
ously ill or injured members, instead
of one year, and allowing more effec-
tive employment of pregnant women
than was possible under the old sys-
tem.Director of Navy Health, CAPT
Liz Rushbrook, says the revised sys-
tem will be a substantial improvement.
"Like the rest of the ADF, the
last 12 years have been operational-
By LEUT Andrew Herring
A MORE flexible workforce, greater
support for seriously ill or injured
members, more employment options
for pregnant servicewomen and
clearer communication with com-
These are some of the benefits
arising from a review of Defence's
Medical Employment Classification
Established in 1998, during a less
operationally demanding era, the
MEC system classifies ADF members
according to their medical status and
determines how they can be employed
MEC morphed for flexible workforce
ly demanding for Navy and we have
learned valuable lessons during that
period," CAPT Rushbrook said.
"Once implemented, this revised
MEC system will better meet our
modern workforce needs and facilitate
clearer communication between ADF
Health services and Commanding
Officers about a member's fitness for
duty and workplace restrictions.
"Those recovering from a serious
illness or injury will be able to take the
time they need to focus on their reha-
bilitation, before being considered by
a medical classification review board.
"By focusing on the functional
ability of personnel to perform tasks
in specific operating environments, we
can deliver a more flexible work force
"It is all about allowing more flex-
ible employment of those who cannot
deploy for medical reasons," CAPT
More details regarding changes to the
Medical Employment Classification system
can be found in CDF Directive No. 07/2010
of August 20, 2010.
INSIDE INFORMATION: (Above)
HMAS Cerberus radiographer
Roger Moye discusses an x-ray
with SMNMED Samantha Kershaw.
Photo: ABIS Andrew Black
SAY 'AHHH': (Right) POMED
Kenan Huseini Amber conducts a
medical assessment of SMNCK
Photo: ABIS Lincoln Commane
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