open access

Vol 73, No 4 (2022)
Original article
Submitted: 2022-12-07
Accepted: 2022-12-09
Published online: 2022-12-28
Get Citation

The usefulness and practicality of the International Medical Guide for Ships

Lisa Loloma Froholdt1, Sisse Grøn12
·
Pubmed: 36583405
·
IMH 2022;73(4):181-188.
Affiliations
  1. Centre for Maritime Health and Society, University of Southern Denmark, Esbjerg, Denmark
  2. The National Research Centre of the Working Environment, Copenhagen, Denmark

open access

Vol 73, No 4 (2022)
OCCUPATIONAL MEDICINE Original article
Submitted: 2022-12-07
Accepted: 2022-12-09
Published online: 2022-12-28

Abstract

Background: The third edition of the International Medical Guide for Ships (IMGS) was published in 2007
and supported a main principle of the newly adopted International Maritime Labour Convention (MLC)
2006: to ensure that seafarers are given health protection and medical care as comparable as possible
to that which is available to workers ashore. In 2021, the revisions and drafting of the fourth edition of the
IMGS began. Taking the COVID-19 pandemic into consideration, it was decided that a stakeholder study
was necessary to ascertain the usefulness and practicality of the guide as well as provide input for which
new topics to include.

Materials and methods: The study applied data triangulation, with respondents from a geographically
broad sample of the International Maritime Organization‘s five regional areas of the world. The data was
analysed using thematic analysis.

Results: The results show that the IMGS is widely known and used among persons involved in medical care
on board ships, but the IMGS is not as practical as stakeholders would wish it to be. For the guide to be
useful, it must be ensured that telemedical advice information is included and if possible, ensure there is
one single and global medical guide. Also, there is a need for new medical information, and respondents
pointed to pandemic information, medicines list, medical chest, mental health issues, a women’s section,
updated cardiopulmonary resuscitation instructions, human immune defect virus information (human
immune defect-virus) and information on how seafarers may self-monitor and be monitored on board in
relation to chronic diseases.

Conclusions: Respondents understand a medicine chest on board is mandatory according to the MLC
2006, 98% are familiar with its content, and 86% use the IMGS.

Abstract

Background: The third edition of the International Medical Guide for Ships (IMGS) was published in 2007
and supported a main principle of the newly adopted International Maritime Labour Convention (MLC)
2006: to ensure that seafarers are given health protection and medical care as comparable as possible
to that which is available to workers ashore. In 2021, the revisions and drafting of the fourth edition of the
IMGS began. Taking the COVID-19 pandemic into consideration, it was decided that a stakeholder study
was necessary to ascertain the usefulness and practicality of the guide as well as provide input for which
new topics to include.

Materials and methods: The study applied data triangulation, with respondents from a geographically
broad sample of the International Maritime Organization‘s five regional areas of the world. The data was
analysed using thematic analysis.

Results: The results show that the IMGS is widely known and used among persons involved in medical care
on board ships, but the IMGS is not as practical as stakeholders would wish it to be. For the guide to be
useful, it must be ensured that telemedical advice information is included and if possible, ensure there is
one single and global medical guide. Also, there is a need for new medical information, and respondents
pointed to pandemic information, medicines list, medical chest, mental health issues, a women’s section,
updated cardiopulmonary resuscitation instructions, human immune defect virus information (human
immune defect-virus) and information on how seafarers may self-monitor and be monitored on board in
relation to chronic diseases.

Conclusions: Respondents understand a medicine chest on board is mandatory according to the MLC
2006, 98% are familiar with its content, and 86% use the IMGS.

Get Citation

Keywords

medical guide, International Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) 2006, maritime health, seafarers’ health, maritime medicine

About this article
Title

The usefulness and practicality of the International Medical Guide for Ships

Journal

International Maritime Health

Issue

Vol 73, No 4 (2022)

Article type

Original article

Pages

181-188

Published online

2022-12-28

Page views

3493

Article views/downloads

338

DOI

10.5603/IMH.2022.0032

Pubmed

36583405

Bibliographic record

IMH 2022;73(4):181-188.

Keywords

medical guide
International Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) 2006
maritime health
seafarers’ health
maritime medicine

Authors

Lisa Loloma Froholdt
Sisse Grøn

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