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April 29, 2004

P&I Club sets up Philippines medical screening program

The American Club has set up a program for pre-employment medical examinations (PEMEs) in the Philippines.

Last month, the American Club announced that it had become the first P&I insurer to establish a similar program in the Ukraine.

The American Club has established an approved list of quality clinics in Manila. This is a voluntary program, but the club urges its members to employ seafarers who have undergone PEMEs at the club's approved clinics.

Speaking in Manila, where a reception was held for the first six listed clinics, local manning agents and regulatory authorities, Dr William Moore, vice president, loss prevention and technical services, for the managers, said "In the Philippines, more clubs implementing quality PEME initiatives will surely benefit the members of those clubs by reducing the frequency of seafarers with pre-existing medical conditions joining vessels."

Dr. Moore added, "However, identifying seafarers with pre-existing illnesses does not keep them from seeking employment with shipowners who have lower medical standards. It is an unfortunate and ironic consequence that the more clubs and owners which subscribe to such programs, and screen out seafarers with pre-existing illnesses, the higher the possibilities of having these medically unfit mariners join vessels operated by companies which are not involved in a PEME scheme.

"The bottom line could be claims associated with pre-existing illnesses for that owner which could have been prevented through a quality PEME scheme.

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