Under the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (‘the MLC’):
- A seafarer, while working on board, has the right to:
- adequate health protection;
- access to prompt and adequate medical care, including essential dental care; and
- health protection and medical care as comparable as possible to that which is generally available to workers ashore.
- The medical care on board must include:
- a medicine chest;
- medical equipment;
- a medical guide;
- a qualified medical doctor on ships specified in national laws or regulations, if the ship carries 100 or more persons and is ordinarily engaged on international voyages of more than three days’ duration, and all other ships must have at least one seafarer who is in charge of medical care and administering medicines as part of his regular duties; and
- a system for obtaining onshore specialist medical advice 24 hours a day by radio or satellite communication.
- Health protection and care must be provided at no cost to a seafarer.
- Where practicable, a seafarer must be allowed to visit a qualified medical doctor or dentist without delay in ports of call.
See Regulation 4.1 of the MLC.
For more information
See the ILO Frequently Asked Questions (section C5.2) at http://www.ilo.org/global/standards/maritime-labour-convention/what-it-does/faq/WCMS_177371/lang–en/index.htm