Based on the medical examination findings, a medical certificate shall be issued to a seafarer by the medical examiner and must be signed by both the medical examiner and examinee.
* The period of validity of the medical certificate will remain in force for a maximum period of two years from the date on which it is granted, unless the seafarer is under the age of 18, in which case the maximum period of validity is one year.
* If the medical examiner imposes restrictions on work (i.e., the job the seafarer will Perform, the trade area, time-limit, etc.). these restrictions should be reflected on the Certificate.
* If the examinee is found temporarily or permanently unfit for service, he or she should be given an explanation of the reasons and advised on the right and the procedures for making an appeal.
* if an examinee is found temporarily unfit, the medical examiner should give advice on the need to make additional tests, to obtain opinions from specialists, to complete dental or other treatment, rehabilitation and/or appropriate medical care. The examinee should be informed of when to return for another examination.
* Medical certificates which expire during the course of a voyage will continue to be in force until the next port of call where the seafarer can obtain a medical certificate from a medical practitioner recognized by the party, provided that the period does not exceed three months.
Seafarers are required to undergo medical examinations to reduce risks to other crew members and for the safe operation of the ship, as well as to safeguard their personal health and safety.
The maintenance and promotion of the safety at sea entail inter conscientious medical examinations of those seafarers to whom Merchant shipping applies. In general, the person involved should be free from any abnormality, disease or injury which obstructs a safe performance of the duties in order to qualify for a medical certificate.
A seafarer should at all times be able to act adequately in case of an emergency. He must not only be able then to bring himself in a safe position, he must also be able to assist in extinguishing a fire, launching of life-saving devices and the assistance of crew members and passengers. Furthermore, his (her) presence may cause no danger to the health of the other persons on board. In this connection it is of particular importance to promptly recognize and treat (or have treated) those disorders which clearly increase the risk to the safety on board.
While nothing in Maritime guidelines should preclude sound medical judgment, in conducting an examination. a medical examiner should bear in mind the following aspects of shipboard life:
(i) It is unadvisable and often unsafe to allow persons with certain medical conditions to become seafarers or return to seagoing employment due to the difficulty of transporting sick or injured seafarers ashore where they can receive adequate medical care.
(ii) Contagious diseases may be a threat to other crew members and, when carried. passengers, due to the close living conditions
Every person working on board ship must have a certificate attesting to his fitness for the work for which he is to be employed at sea (ILO 1946). He must be in good health and is not allowed to have any disease likely to be aggravated on board ship or to endanger the health of other persons on board.
Guidelines are intended to assist medical practitioners, ship-owners or Ship Managers, Ship manning Agents, seafarers, seafarers’ representatives and other relevant persons with the conduct of medical fitness examinations of serving seafarers and seafarer candidates’