Seacare Maritime Medical Centre (SMMC) has been responding to ship calls round the clock to provide medical treatment for seafarers. Due to stricter border control measures because of COVID-19, sick seafarers are unable to disembark to seek medical attention unless it is a medical emergency.
Fortunately, the MPA and the Port & Airport Health Unit (Port Health) have granted Dr Chia Yih Woei and his team a special permit to make ship calls during this period.
Dr Chia also remarked that SMMC has been seeing an increase in anxiety and stress related illnesses among seafarers. He noted that seafarers are not only subjected to stringent board control measures on every port, they are also unable to sign off and be repatriated. Some are also serving longer than their contractually agreed period since crew change is now a challenge. The prolonged work, inability to take shore leave, and being far from home have certainly taken a toll on seafarers. Dr Chia and his team are just thankful to be able to continue serving the shipping community in this trying time.
We would like to express our thanks to all our seafarers working tirelessly during this pandemic.
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