As the world is evolving because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Maritime industry puts a renewed focus on Crew health, safety, and welfare. It comes first as top priority.
As part of OSM Maritime Group, the healthcare team from Nordic Medical Clinic has responded to the health needs of our seafarers. Initially, telemedicine was launched where seafarers could consult doctors online to provide accessibility of physical and psychological healthcare for Crew onboard. Pre-Employment Medical Examinations operations resumed as well with a stringent infection control protocol in place for the safety of the Crew and clinic staff. Regular scheduled Health talks online are also being given for seafarers and families to continually update on relevant health practices on prevention of disease and to remind people about taking care their body and well-being as well.
Notably, the clinic has also responded to the growing need for SARS-CoV-2 RT PCR testing.
NMC has partnered only with reputable COVID-19 Testing centers that duly accredited by the Department of Health (DOH) and Research institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM). With over 6500+ RT-PCR tests facilitated so far since May 2020, for both signing on and signing off Crew, our healthcare frontliners have been fully committed to make sure to protect the integrity of the results. Clinic Staff have undergone proper training to ensure safety, and for correct specimen handling. All specimens are submitted to the partner processing labs within the same day. Processes are put in place and revised as necessary to provide a reliable timely result to avoid missing Crew changes. On top of this, the clinic has developed a mobile team where RT-PCR testing could be done in the hotels to lessen possible exposure of the seafarers.
Admittedly, there are always some challenges along the way. One is handling the growing number of COVID positive cases as testing increases. Secondly, the rapidly evolving requirements of countries around the world to allow Crew travel.
Despite all these, we know we can be resilient and respond than react to the needs. Tough times do not last, tough people do. Your healthcare partners in Nordic Medical Clinic remains committed to play its role in the industry and continually provide excellent care for the seafarers and partners. It is very vital to have all stakeholders work together in harmonious execution to make this work.
By Dr Didoy Lubaton