The OSM Maritime Group upgrades health services to its seafarers with the inauguration of its Nordic Medical Clinic (NMC) last January 24th at Daniel Building, Malate, City of Manila.
Lead guests were Brith Mejlby and Per-Arne Waloen, the former Project Manager for the Nordic Chamber of Commerce-Phil., the latter Norwegian Maritime Authority Advisor to MARINA.
Hosting the guests were OSM Maritime Services Chairman Adonis Donato and daughter, Vice Chair Cheri Marie Donato-Villasin, both rubbed elbows with industry partners and colleagues.
The NMC Medical Director, Dr. Margarita Huerte, toured the party around the modern facilities of the clinic equipped for ECG, stress test, audio/optical, dental, psychological, extraction, laboratory, drug testing, x-ray, male physical examinations.
NMC Pres. Jorge Edward Chang expressed the underlying philosophy: “OSM wants to make a difference in the maritime industry. So OSM established a pre-employment medical examination clinic (PEME) that would now offer executive checkup” and a holistic wellness approach to their seafarers.
Chang clarifies holistic because of “the encouragement to be fit and healthy does not end after the seafarer passed the medical examination but it is a cycle from the daily set put in this clinic until he goes on board and back again for medical check up.”
The NMC Vision is to have healthy and health-empowered seafarers who will support the well-being of their families and society. The mission is to provide top quality employment, medical services and promote holistic health education for clients and partners.
A lot of better health services are in store for OSM seafarers. It is not only to reduce P&I claims but to support seafarers declared unfit through proper consultations to improve his health and board again.
Chang adds, “We want to challenge the maritime industry that PEME should not only be a fit or unfit system. There could be something in between which is the care for our seafarers. For this NMC commitment to provide a health and wellness training — a proactive approach on health care.”
OSM President and Managing Director Mailyn Borillo speaks from experience, crediting Dr. Didoy Lubaton on giving purpose for the clinic and for her own recovery from surgery and hypertension; so with her husband’s withdrawal from maintenance medication.
Dr. Lubaton, authored Don’t Let Them Lose You (How to take care of your health so you can take care of others). He is a practitioner specialized on natural, holistic treatment.
The doctor met the Borillo couple last year, the wife attending Lubaton’s healing retreats. Ms. Mailyn was so impressed she brought Lubaton and his health programs to the company. There were immediate lifestyle changes like refraining from white, milled rice, drinking more water, fruits rather than meat, more education less chemical medication.
Holistic medicine is a form of healing that considers the whole person — body, mind, spirit, and emotions — in the quest for optimal health and wellness. According to the holistic medicine philosophy, one can achieve optimal health — the primary goal of holistic medicine practice — by gaining proper balance in life.
Dr. Lubaton shifts perspective from medication to education in healing. After all, doctor comes from the root word latindocēre [dɔˈkeːrɛ] which means not to heal, not to cure, but to teach.
Seafarers are lend iPad with teaching modules on health and wellness while at the clinic lounge. Lubaton’s Happy Health App is a series of videos, preparatory to one’s turn, educating wards on health drills, within a four-hour turn-around time.
Lubaton leverages on the PEME system, believing educating seafarers make the difference. He talks on nutrition, relations, sleep, safety, productive health as major causes of ailments. He is available Wednesday mornings for a one-on-one consultation, even conversation.
Dr. Huerte says, “Our clinic has partner specialists on all specialties like from the Manila Doctors Hospital with a Memo of Agreement (MOA) for the hospital to accommodate our patients.
Results are issued within the day of examinations since some of these seafarers must travel back to their provinces.
The clinic uses digital equipment for more accuracy, faster prognosis, with no human intervention to maintain integrity of the results automatically banked on the system. It normally takes six hours for clearance; those spotted with abnormalities are asked to return for referral to corresponding specialists.
Drug testing is a requirement of Government, not only the procedure but also the integration of the clinic system with that of the Dept. of Health (DOH) and the Natl. Bureau of Investigation (NBI) of the Dept. of Justice. The integration of systems is the most difficult and expensive part of licensing the clinic.
The NMC is complete with the licenses, now seeks accreditation from various flags or States.
Mr. Richard Macarubbo, NMC Project Manager reveals, “Our timeline is by June this year all OSM seafarers go to this clinic then we start opening it to other manning agencies.”