The IDF is revamping its medical profile guidelines determining which individual is fit to serve in which unit. The changes, which will go into effect in 2019, include the compulsive enlistment of HIV carriers. Other changes include new rules regarding whether an individual is designated to serve in a combat or rear unit. These are the first such changes in the IDF guidelines since 2005.
The Head of Planning in the IDF Medical Corps, Major Dr. Andrei Lubrovski, said that “these guidelines must be kept up-to-date and relevant. We’ve understood that we have the tools and capabilities to enable additional populations to join the ranks of the IDF, and that it is our duty to adapt ourselves to the developing world of medicine.”
Which is why, Lubrovski added, “we will also recruit HIV-positive people. Instead of having to volunteer under specific and detailed conditions, we have defined a number of criteria that, if met, can justify their compulsory recruitment.”
“The carriers of the gene who are treated regularly and show responsiveness and progress throughout the treatment with good results from the tests, will receive a medical profile of 45 points (out of 97 points for men) and will be able to serve in any role within the given profile, while being monitored by the epidemiological section of the army’s health system.”
Another change concerns the population of recruits who, as children, contracted a malignant disease such as cancer.
“The perception until now was that someone who had cancer in the past is not fit to serve in combat service,” Lubrovski explained, noting: “We’ve reached the conclusion that we are missing out on a potential population of quality fighters. Therefore, we decided that a person who has recovered from his illness in the five years prior to his first enlistment notice (delivered by one’s 17th birthday), receive a 72-point profile and be able to reach any combat unit that requires a Rifleman 03 rating.”
Another change: overweight recruits will be allowed to undergo stomach-shortening surgery, go on a six-month leave and then be reevaluated as potential combat recruits.
“This change will be felt,” the planning director stressed. “It opens up options for thousands of people to serve as fighters, and will increase the percentage of recruits in combat outfits significantly.”
“Moreover,” he said, “from a moral point of view, this is an important step that shows that the army is really flexible to accept all its members.”