The UK Club has recently dealt with several crew illness cases arising from diseases that are readily preventable. The average cost of medical treatment and repatriation in such cases is about US$10,000, but more serious cases can sometimes give rise to costs of ten times that amount. In addition, owners may incur the expenses of substitution of the sick crewmember and loss of hire if the vessel is delayed.
Two recent cases include a crewmember suffering from hepatitis and another suffering from typhoid fever. Both incidents occurred in the United States, resulting in expensive medical costs both at the discharge port and on return to their respective home countries. Both illnesses - together with polio, yellow fever, tetanus and tuberculosis - are readily preventable at relatively low cost provided the crew have regular immunizations.
Members are encouraged to ensure that the crews of their ships have all appropriate immunizations up to date before being assigned - particularly to ships trading to areas where such diseases are prevalent. Routine immunizations not only protect the individual crewmember but everyone else onboard as well.
Many operators require current immunization for all their crewmembers. It is a prudent loss prevention/risk management strategy. According to information from the Club’s PEME program, the cost of immunisations vary, but average around US$100, with some countries offering vaccines for free.
Please contact the Club PEME department for further information on the costs of inoculations at the Club’s PEME clinics around the world. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org://www.barmutual.co.uk/?id=
Source of information:
UK P&I Club (Americas)