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The Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC) has forever changed the way vessel operators look at healthcare for the world’s 1.3 million mariners. For some, it means simple com- pliance with a minimum set of standards and managing the costs associated with that standard. For others, MLC is a call to arms for those who work to make sure that healthcare at sea means more than just emergency telemedicine services.

For Christina DeSimone, CEO of Future Care, Inc., managed healthcare means competent telemedicine for seafarers who suffer injuries or become ill hundreds of miles out to sea. It can also means following up on every case that they are call on to handle; managing cost, assignment of the right physician and ensuring that a seafarer gets the right treatment at the right facil- ity. That attention continues through physical rehabilitation and the ultimate goal of returning the mariner to work as quickly as is possible. More than that, however, Future Care’s managed healthcare solution means establishing a baseline history for ev- ery seafarer on the planet – before they ever step onto a vessel.

Studying Seafarer Health: a fulltime job

In May of last year, an ambitious effort to bring seafarer healthcare to a new, higher standard kicked off when the Yale

University School of Medicine, in conjunction with managed healthcare solution provider Future Care, Inc., released a study entitled Preliminary Evaluation of Seafarers Health Care and

Determination of Predictors of Illness. For perhaps the very fi rst time, the effort to provide proactive as opposed to reactive healthcare to mariners was underway. Until now, very little re- search had been conducted on the health and general welfare of the world’s 1.3 million seafarers who collectively spend their time traveling, living and working on vessels far away from their home countries.

Future Care’s CEO, Christina DeSimone, determined that there was an immediate need for an analysis of the incidence of illness and injury among this singular group, with particu- lar emphasis on their special risk factors. The ultimate goal is to draw conclusions that will assist in the development of



MLC Mandated Medical

Management for Mariners


By Joseph Keefe

Managed medical care specialist Future Care is changing the way the maritime industry looks at mariner healthcare

Martin D. Slade, Lecturer, Director of Research, Yale Occupational & Environmental Medicine and Dr.

Rafael Y. Lefkowitz, MD MPH, Clinical Instructor, Yale Occupational and Environmental Medicine. | Maritime Professional | 55

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Maritime Logistics Professional

Maritime Logistics Professional magazine is published six times annually.