The Directorate previously issued guidelines for approving medical examiners of seafarers in accordance with Rule 4 of MS Medical Examination Rules, 2000 (MS Notice 01/2015).
Due to numerous complaints and grievances from seafarers regarding improper medical examinations, lack of proper equipment, inadequate infrastructure, and other issues, the Directorate has decided to introduce new parameters for future approvals of medical examiners.
Existing approvals for medical examiners with recognized degrees other than MBBS will remain valid and can be renewed if they comply with all applicable provisions.
However, from now on, all new medical examiner approvals must adhere to the following additional provisions:
a) The doctor must hold an MBBS degree from a recognized university approved by the competent authority.
b) The doctor should have their own clinic/hospital with the necessary infrastructure, including a waiting area, examining room, testing lab, and sample collection facilities, as per MS Medical Examination Rules 2000.
c) The doctor's testing laboratory must be approved by NABL/NABH or have a tie-up with NABL/NABH laboratory.
d) Documentary evidence of clinic ownership/lease and recent clinic photographs must be provided during initial/renewal approval.
e) A non-refundable processing fee of Rs. 25,000 for initial approval and Rs. 10,000 for renewal approval must be paid through bharatkosh. A fee of Rs. 2,000 paid through bharatkosh is required for changing address/contact details on the DG shipping medical profile.
f) Medical examiners seeking renewal must have conducted at least 25 medical tests of seafarers in one year in metro cities and 15 tests in non-metro cities.
g) The approval will be valid for five years from the date of completing the Medical Familiarization course, the validity of registration with the Medical Council, or until the medical examiner reaches the age of 65, whichever comes first.
h) Medical examiners reaching the age of 65 and desiring to renew their approval may apply to the Directorate for consideration up to the age of 70, subject to producing a fit certificate from approved central/state/local municipal authorities.
i) The approval will be canceled if any information or document is found to be fake or compromised at any time.
j) Doctors may collaborate with NABL/NABH-approved laboratory centers for various tests and collect samples at their approved clinics.
k) An institutionalized closed-loop feedback system must be implemented to use feedback for continual improvement.