Issuance of medical certificates for sailors

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When employing people, for certain categories of persons defined by the law (officers of authorities of the National Police, of the Emergency Situations State Service of Ukraine, of authorities of the Security Service of Ukraine and other), an obligatory condition is getting a medical examination as for aptitude for the future work by medical condition. Also those belong to such persons who perform works on the vessels (sailors).

In this article we will consider what namely health care institutions perform medical examination of sailors and according to what procedure the corresponding medical certificates are given.

According to Article 52 of the Merchant Marine Code in Ukraine, those persons are admitted for work on the vessels who were recognized as fit for that according to health condition. A report about aptitude of a person is provided by institution of the central body of executive authority which provides formation of the state policy in the sphere of public health care (according to the rules established by that body).

The rules of defining the fitness of persons for work on the vessels by health condition were approved by the Order of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine No. 347 dated 19.11.1996.

These rules establish the following:

  • principal requirements for procedure of passing the medical examination;
  • rights and duties of vessel owners, sailors and medical institutions which perform medical examinations.

The rules concern:

  • all vessel owners of Ukraine (in operation);
  • sailors and institutions performing the medical examinations.

Sailor is considered a person who works by hire on board the vessel and is included in the crew list.

Medical institutions should have in their structure a subdivision for medical examinations.

Department of medical examinations should have staff of health professionals having a corresponding education and experience in the sphere of diagnostics of concealed health conditions. Their duties are keeping record of medical examinations, performing medical examinations of sailors, and issuing certificates about fitness for work on vessels.

Referral for medical examinations, their financing, control of non-admitting the persons for work who did not pass a medical examination of who have contraindications for work in specific profession is performed by the vessel owner.

The captain of the vessel is personally responsible that the sailors have valid medical certificates and for sailor’s performance of work on the vessel.

Carrying out a medical examination and issue of medical certificates is performed by health care institutions whose list is approved yearly by the Ministry of Health of Ukraine and brought to knowledge of all government authorities interested.

As of January 2019, such list was approved by the Order of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine dated 05.04.2018 No. 627. An interesting fact is that according to that list, most of our institutions are located in regions which face the Black and the Azov Sea. Besides that, there are also private health care institutions in that list.

To perform a medical examination, a vessel owner should make an agreement with a corresponding health care institution for performing medical examinations of sailors. The vessel owner should also:

  • provide a referral for examination for persons who need to pass a medical examination (annex No. 1);
  • provide sailors’ arriving for examination according to the plan agreed with the department of medical examinations;
  • provide for the Department of medical examinations the sanitary and hygienic characteristics of labor conditions from which the sailors are directed for medical examination.


Thus, the vessel owner is responsible that the sailors pass a medical examination. Medical examinations of sailors are performed by health care institutions specially defined by the Ministry of Health of Ukraine that have a corresponding license for performing the medical practice, in accordance with the procedure approved by the order of the Ministry of Health.

Among health care institutions which can perform a medical examination of sailors, there are private institutions, too. This means that a private health care institution (that complies with requirements raised for such institutions) can be entered in the list of institutions which can perform medical examinations of sailors.

Besides the fact that a health care institution should have a license for medical practice and be included in the list approved by the Ministry of Health, also an ISO 9001 certificate (certificate of compliance with international standards describing requirements for quality management system of organizations and enterprises) should be obtained.

Publication date: 15/02/2019

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