What do we test for in an MCA medical?

So you want to work at sea? You will need the appropriate MCA medical. If you are going to work aboard a seafaring ship, whether it’s as a master, crew member, entertainer, hairdresser, self-employed contractor or on board a fishing vessel, you will need to get an ENG1 certificate. This is a medical certificate that needs to be issued by Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) approved doctors. If you’re planning on booking your MCA medical, here is a brief overview of what we test for in this medical examination. 

What happens in the MCA medical 

When you arrive for your medical appointment you will be asked for a urine sample to check your kidney function and blood sugar levels. Your height and weight will be measured and you will have your blood pressure taken. The doctor will listen to your heart and lungs and check your ears, nose, throat and reflexes. 

Your eyesight will also be examined and you’ll be tested for colour blindness. You will also have audiometry tests to ensure that your hearing meets the required standards. 

You will be tasked with completing a medical questionnaire and be asked about your medical history, to determine if there are any illnesses or conditions that may prevent your ability to do your job properly and therefore keep yourself and others safe at sea. 

What you need to take to your MCA medical 

In order for your ENG1 medical to be completed efficiently, there are a few things that you will need to bring along to your appointment: 

  • Passport or other form of photo ID 
  • Details of any medication you are currently taking 
  • The contact details of your GP 
  • Your previous ENG 1 Medical certificate if this is not your first MCA medical 
  • Your glasses or contact lenses 

If you forget any of these items it might result in a delay in your medical certificate being issued. 

Once your medical is complete, you will either be issued with a medical certificate that declares you are fit to work without restrictions, fit to work but with restrictions (meaning your duties may be limited) or unfit to work at sea (either temporary or permanent). 

Why is a seafarer medical necessary? 

If you feel completely fit and healthy and are wondering why a medical is necessary before you embark upon your time at sea, consider these few facts: 

  • Working at sea can be potentially hazardous. 
  • There are limited medical facilities and provision of doctors on board ships, so there may be a delay in getting medical treatment. 
  • It may be difficult to provide replacement medication if it is lost at sea. 
  • The limited working environment may mean viral illnesses spread more easily. 
  • An emergency at sea may require the input of crew or other seafarers, who may be required to undergo strenuous tasks in difficult conditions. 

Book your MCA medical now 

If you need an ENG1 medical, then you can contact us here at Heathrow Medical on 020 8528 2633 to book in for a medical with our MCA approved doctors. The fee for your medical is £115 and we have good availability for appointments at our medical centre, conveniently located next to Heathrow Airport in London. 

Seafarer Medicals
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