We would like to make our Members aware that the Panama Maritime Authority has advised that Flag and Port State Control (PSC) surveyors in Panamanian jurisdictional waters shall verify the on-board existence of medicine chests, medical equipment and guides, whose specifications shall prescribe and be submitted to periodical inspections, taking into account the number of persons on board, the type and nature of the vessel, destination and duration of voyage.
The surveyors shall ensure the control of labels, expiration dates, conditions for the conservation of medicines and the corresponding prospects, as well as the proper functioning of the equipment.
In addition personnel in charge of on-board medical assistance must have satisfactorily completed a medical first aid or medical care training in accordance to the requirements of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978 (STCW, 1978); Rule VI/4; Section A-VI/4, Paragraphs 1-6.
Training should be based on the content of the recent editions of the International Medical Guide for Ships, the Medical First Aid Guide for Use in Accidents Involving Dangerous Goods, the document will serve as guidance for the training of Seafarers and the medical section for the International Code of Signals.
We advise our Members whose vessels are trading in Panamanian jurisdictional waters to ensure their operations department and on-board crews are aware of this requirement which came into effect on 1st January 2013.
Source of information: http://panamatravelsolution.com/segumar/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Medicine-Chest-Medical-Equipment-and-Guides-On-Board-JAN2013.pdf