Thank you very much.
As we look to preparing for the returning veterans from Afghanistan, it's very important that we consider what's going to happen on the ground and our relationship with some of our partners. We want to make sure our case managers are ready.
Let me just move through quickly some of the points around what we're going to do.
First of all, we did set up an Afghan and seriously injured casualty support unit. The purpose of that was to make sure that those who were injured in Afghanistan and had a need for very quick decisions were able to receive that. They were given an accelerated review of their needs and they were given an answer in a very short turnaround time.
In addition to that, we've added case managers, as I mentioned, where we need them the most, and we've reduced the workload of case managers.
For those returning from Afghanistan, while some of them will remain within the Canadian Forces, other will begin the transition to civilian life. In that transition, our partnership with DND is key. We've invested in the integrated personnel support centres, and we've put over 100 VAC personnel into those centres. So they get to meet those returning veterans very early in the transition process.
I noted that in your recent report you mentioned how early intervention is so key to success, and that's why we've taken that step. We have in fact put procedures in place so that we ensure VAC case managers work earlier in the transition process, reducing the wait time for Afghanistan or any other veteran who is transitioning.
The partnership with DND is very important, and operates at many levels in the department, not just at the front line. We've taken some key steps to reduce broader risk by strengthening that partnership.
At a very senior level, we have meetings on a quarterly basis with DND. The intention is to know what they are working on in terms of their programs and services so that we have good communication from our side as well and so that we integrate and plan together. That way, a still-serving member, as they receive services in DND, as they begin to take the steps in civilian life, will be matched and have a harmonized approach within Veterans Affairs Canada so that when they take those steps towards civilian life they'll have the supports they need.