MPA Singapore issued a circular informing of the medical examination of seafarers and seafarer’s medical certificate, in line with the IMO and ILO guidelines which have been adopted as national requirements for medical examination of seafarers. Every seafarer working onboard Singapore-registered ships shall hold a valid seafarer’s medical certificate.
A seafarer’s medical certificate shall follow the requirements of minimum information to be provided in the certificate as set out in the STCW Convention 1978, as amended, the medical standards set out in the IMO’s circular STCW.7/Circular 19 and the requirements of the ILO Maritime Labour Convention (MLC), 2006.
Recognition of Medical Practitioners
MPA accepts valid seafarer’s medical certificate issued by the following medical practitioners:
a. Registered medical practitioners licensed to practice in Singapore and familiar with the guidelines on the medical examination and certification of seafarers. The list of registered medical practitioners in Singapore is given in the website http://www.healthprofessionals.gov.sg; or
b. Medical practitioners recognised by an STCW State Party in the “IMO White List”; or
c. A medical practitioner recognised by an MLC State Party and familiar with the guidelines on the medical examination and certification of seafarers; or
d. Any other medical practitioners that are accepted by the Director.
Seafarer’s Medical Certificate
- Recognised medical practitioners are required to use the format as given in Annex C of this circular when issuing seafarer’s medical certificates. They are also required to retain records of medical inspection of seafarers for at least 3 years.
- Seafarer’s medical certificates shall be valid for not more than 2 years or not more than 1 year in the case of a seafarer under the age of 18 years. If a seafarer’s medical certificate expires in the course of a voyage, then the certificate shall remain valid until the next port of call.
- There are three (3) categories of seafarer’s medical certificates which may be issued to the following persons:
- able to perform all duties worldwide within designated department (unlimited); or
- able to perform some but not all routine and emergency duties or to work in limited area (e.g. within 30 miles from a port) (L – limited duration or R – limited job scope); or
- incompatible with the reliable performance of routine and emergency duties safely or effectively (Temporary or Permanent – unfit for sea service).
- A seafarer who has been refused issuance of a seafarer’s medical certificate or has a limitation imposed in his certificate, may appeal to the Director of Marine for a review by another independent medical practitioner.
Ship managers and masters should ensure that seafarers are only deployed to perform duties for which they are medically fit. For example, only seafarers who are fit for the deck department – (i.e. comply with requirements for eye-sight, colour vision and hearing) should be permitted to perform bridge watch keeping or lookout duties.