Suppose a seafarer manages to get on his first bulk vessel under a contract of 6 months and start sailing immediately. Later on the ship, within one month of sailing, he starts developing symptoms of stones in his gall bladder. Due to the increasing pain, he had to sign off from the ship and spend months on the treatment. His medical condition cost him a lag in his career and a great inconvenience to the shipping company and its employees. 

medical in merchant navy
Medical in Merchant Navy

That is why the medical fitness of seafarers in the merchant navy is important to ensure that they will not pose a risk to themselves and other seafarers on the ship. Every shipping company asks for a medical test certificate provided by the DG Shipping-approved doctor if you clear your medical examinations with flying colors. These tests are mandatory for in-service seafarers as well. 


Suppose a student is joining from a DNS or Bsc Nautical Science and is told to get a medical assessment done by a DG Shipping-approved doctor. In this case, before joining the ship, when the student sits for pre-Institute medicals, he will be required to pay a sum of Rs 4.000-5,000 for a regular medical and physical check-up. However, some companies ask for a few advanced test reports, which increases the cost of medicals to Rs 6,000-7,000. This is the only time you are asked to pay for a medical examination. The moment you get recruited by a good company like Synergy, Anglo-Eastern, the medical bills from that time onwards are compensated by hiring companies. 

 container ship
Container ship

If you are a 2nd or 3rd Officer currently in service, sign a contract with a shipping company for the next 6 months. You will be asked to show the fitness certificate provided by a DG Shipping-approved doctor. The medical test that will cost around Rs 5,500-7,000 will be refunded by the company after your joining. With increasing age, seafarers are more prone to illness and poor health, so the companies include advanced tests and vaccines that can go up to Rs 9,000-10,000. These medical reports come with a validity period of 2 years, with which you can apply for DCE, COC, and CDC. However, the validity of these medicines can vary from company to company. Suppose you are placed in Anglo-Eastern and have submitted your medical reports too. But your joining gets delayed by 4 months. In this case, the company can ask for a new medical report to ensure no health deficiencies have occurred in that period. 


  1. Fatty Liver – is a common condition caused by having too much fat build up in your liver. A healthy liver contains a small amount of fat. It becomes a problem when fat reaches 5% to 10% of your liver’s weight. Fatty liver does not initially cause any problem, so it is left undetected until you get a health check-up. If you are a sailor suffering from the issue of fatty liver, you might feel frequent waves of nausea and abdominal pain. This can hinder your duties and responsibilities onboard. That is why it is important to get a regular check-up done to prevent or reverse fatty liver disease in time.
 fatty liver
Fatty Liver
  1. BMI Issue – A BMI index increase can lead to various problems like strokes, heart disease, obesity, and high blood pressure. A seafarer must be physically fit to carry out the daily duties onboard. Aspiring seafarers ignore the importance of health and fitness, leading to rejection. In the merchant navy, a seafarer should always have a BMI score of less than 30. 
M=BMI Issue
  1. Poor Eyesight – There are strict eligibility criteria for eyesight in the merchant navy. The candidates must keep in mind that their vision matches the requirement posted by the official notice of the merchant navy. 
  • Deck Department:  Vision should be 6/6 in the better eye and 6/9 in the other eye
  • Engine and Electrical Department: Vision should be 6/12 in each eye or 6/9 in the better eye and 6/18 in the other eye
  • Defective color vision tested by Ishihara Colour Blindness Test is a disqualification.
Medical eyesight
Ishihara Color Blindness
  1. Piles – If you face frequent issues with piles, this can result in rejection in your medical examination. Try to increase the intake of fluids and a low-fiber diet a week before your check-up. This can prevent the problem of piles on the day of your medical assessment for the Merchant Navy.
piles medical

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Gaurav more

Sir thank you so much for this valuable information 😊
But sir I still have a doubt that, smile surgery is acceptable or not in merchant navy ?

Last edited 1 year ago by Gaurav more