British soldiers who are suffering from mental illness after serving in war-torn Iraq and Afghanistan, were asked to wait 18 months or longer for treatment from the National Health Service (NHS).
It said that the figures released by British Ministry of Defence (MoD) showed 2,123 servicemen and women have been treated for mental health conditions after returning from Iraq since 2003. More than 320 soldiers who served in Iraq have been treated for post-traumatic stress disorder, while many others have suffered from anxiety, depression or other neuroses.
According to the report, those veterans with post-traumatic stress should be given priority NHS treatment, but many are being put on waiting lists or not even referred for treatment.
British services mental health charity 'Combat Stress' said that it has been overwhelmed with ex-servicemen who have been unable to get treatment on the NHS. The number suffering trauma has doubled in six months, as soldiers in Britain's over stretched forces are sent back to combat zones without enough time to recuperate.
'The rate of admission from Iraq is much faster. The worry is that it is only the bow wave of what will be coming for many years', said Toby Elliott, chief executive of Combat Stress.
The MoD said it took the issue of mental health problems 'extremely serious' and gave Combat Stress around 2.8 million pounds (about $5.32 million) a year for treatment courses.