Medical supplies

Under the Ships Order, the Fishing Vessels Order and the Regulation Safety Seagoing Vessels (Regeling veiligheid zeeschepen), Dutch sea-going vessels must carry medical supplies. What supplies are required depends on the category of vessel, the sailing area, the cargo being carried as well as the number of signed-on crewmembers on board.

Exemption medical equipment

Per April 30, 2018 the medical equipment of some types of seagoing vessels has been adapted.
Two exemptions have been issued.

Lifeboats and liferafts
The medical equipment of lifeboats and liferafts is prescribed in Column R of Annex 5 of the Regulation Safety Seagoing Vessels (RSSV).
From April 30, 2018 on the following items may be omitted:

  • 1.4.02 Fytomenadion amp 10 mg/1 ml
  • 1.4.03 Oxytocine amp 5U/1 ml
  • 2.2.02 Ondansetron tab 4 mg
  • 9.1.08 Betadine ointment tube 30 gr
  • 9.2.06 Tetracycline ointment 1%
  • II.5.05.a Syringes 2 ml disposable
  • II.5.05.d Needles im 40x0,8 mm sterile

Furthermore it’s allowed to replace item 3.2.04R Tramadol caps and item 3.3.02 Diclofenac sup by Ibuprofen drag 400 mg (30).

Fishing cutters which sail on the North Sea outside 30 miles from the coast and within the Dutch Exclusive Economical Zone (EEZ)
The medical equipment of Fishing cutters which sail on the North Sea outside 30 miles from the coast and within the Dutch Exclusive Economical Zone (EEZ) is prescribed in Column B of Annex 5 of the RSSV. 
From April 30, 2018 on it’s allowed to suffice with the equipment as described in Column K of Annex 'Kotterkist EEZ B'

Why are these exemptions issued?
The composition of the medical equipment is described in Annex 5 of the RSSV. The RVVS will most likely be revised in 2019.
The two exemptions form a temporarily solution until the RSSV has been revised.
The changes are dealing with:

  • medicines which are forbidden abroad
  • medicines with a short expiration period
  • waste of medicines

Medical guide

Except for vessels in column C, which are required to carry the Orange Cross first aid booklet, the medical handbook prescribed for the use of the medical supplies is the Dutch Medical Guide for Ships (= Geneeskundig Handboek voor de Scheepvaart), latest edition including supplements.

The Dutch Medical Guide currently consists of two parts, Part 2 (Medical First Aid Guide for Use in Accidents Involving Dangerous Goods -MFAG-) of which  should be present on board vessels carrying dangerous goods. More information about both parts of the Dutch Medical Guide can be obtained from SDU publishers.

If an English version of the handbook is desirable, the UK “Ship Captain's Medical Guide" is a good choice. The Dutch handbook is a translation of the English edition of 1983. Both handbooks have been updated independently, but still have many points in common.

The MFAG in its original version is an IMO publication.

See also