Tim Carter, Chief Editor
Aksel Schreiner, Editorial Co-ordinator
An extensively revised and extended second edition of the web-based Textbook of Maritime Medicine, sponsored by the Norwegian Centre for Maritime Medicine and the International Maritime Health Association, was launched on 3rd of April. It can be accessed at: http:// textbook.ncmm.no (not www).
The whole text of the first edition has been re-edited and revised, a project that has taken just over a year and involved authors old and new, the Editorial Board and the editors. There are now over thirty chapters covering a wide range of maritime health topics.
Guidelines for the medical examination of seafarers differ considerably among seafaring nations. Some nations follow the guidelines recommended by the authorities (ILO,IMO), others have composed their own.
A harmonization of these guidelines among seafaring nations has long been the objective of professionals within maritime medicine and a good deal of effort has been made to draw up a new set of guidelines that will enable medical examiners to reliably select seafarers with the safety of the vessels and their crew as the main objective. A natural goal would be to encourage all seafaring nations to adopt the guidelines, something that would enhance the quality of the selection process and make the validity of the medical certificate universal.
The lack of a quality assurance system for maritime physicians and maritime medical services prompted IMHA to launch the "IMHA Quality Assurance Accreditation Programme for Maritime Clinics”. This programme provides a system for quality assurance and quality improvement through defining best practice for services providing medical fitness examinations for seafarers worldwide. IMHA invites organisations to work towards IMHA accreditation through participation in the programme.