Diving medical certificates in Australia

Apr 1st, 2007, 02:55 PM
  #1  
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Diving medical certificates in Australia

A comment made in another thread about not telling the dive boat that you have asthma made me look up the requirements in Australia since we plan on diving (if we pass our course here) on a liveaboard as well as day trips. It appears that you have to have an Australian doctor clear you or have your paperwork clearly state that the exam was in accordance with an Australian statute (see the website below. They have a list of doctors who will do this exam listed, too.)

http://www.divemedicals.com.au/requirements.html


They said something sort of alarming on this site:
"It is far better to visit a physician whilst in Australia and obtain a valid dive medical certificate that complies with Australian Standards (AS4005.1), rather than show up for your liveaboard dive trip and watch the boat depart without you because you weren’t prepared."

Since we are over 55 they will be having us fill out their forms. I was wondering if anyone has gotten this dive certificate in Australia and if anyone has had trouble with a dive boat because of not having it? Or not getting a certificate in Australia while already a certified diver in another country? Thanks!

Sally in Seattle

SnRSeattle is offline  
Apr 1st, 2007, 04:31 PM
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I have read a few posts where divers were prevented from diving due to age/something on the medical form - and they didn't the medical certificate

The best thing you can do is to get the SOF (since that is where you were booked last I read) to send you the forms in advance. Fill them out, fax/email them back and have them tell you whether or not you should get the certificate. If you do, they could probably organize an appointment or recommend a Dr in the area.

Cheers

Steve
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Apr 2nd, 2007, 03:38 AM
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Sally,

You will need to investigate this properly because, in my experience, the requirements are taken seriously.

Both my husband and I are fully certified divers (have been for years) but on my husband's last trip to the GBR he was barred from diving after having admitted that he had become a mild asthmatic in latter years and had not got a doctor's certificate saying he could still dive.

I would be following up on Steve's suggestion.
shandy is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2007, 06:12 PM
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Steve, Shandy, and Martin, thanks for your input. We have contacted a doctor in Airlie Beach, since that is where we want to first dive in Australia (so we can be ready for SOF ) but we haven't heard from them yet. We'll know more about diving after our course, and whether we a) pass and b) like it. Until then we probably won't get in a twit about it, because we can always snorkel (and I adore snorkeling and would be happy doing that anyway!!) It just seemed like a great opportunity to see if we like diving, but if it isn't possible, well, it's OK. We were passed on our physicals even though we have several of those conditions, they are controlled and not a problem. So we'll investigate getting the certificate so we won't have to do forms or lie, which I don't think I would do anyway. Interesting about the English diver who couldn't dive--I assume he could have if he had gotten the certificate before hand? It was just that he told the truth on the forms and didn't have information from a doctor to reassure the dive people?
Sally in Seattle
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Apr 3rd, 2007, 06:21 PM
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Sally or the other posters: Do you know if the same requirements would apply to a "resort" dive? We are also over 55, and want to try diving on the GBR, but we will just do the pool and classroom work here, and then do a "resort" dive or two in Australia. Doubt seriously if we will ever dive again, since (a) GBR is probably the best place to dive in the world and who knows if we'll ever get to come back a second time, and (b)we also love snorkeling!

Sharon (in LA)
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Apr 3rd, 2007, 08:36 PM
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Sharon - for a "resort" or "introductory" dive you don't need to do pool and classroom work but you must fill in a medical questionnaire on board and meet health requirements specified on form. There's another thread running here currently about this subject.
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Apr 3rd, 2007, 09:04 PM
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Sally - when we booked the SOF Paula sent us the medical forms to fill out right away - have you received them? I went back and forth with her a few times due to our inability to answer "Yes" in all the places you're supposed to (or maybe it was "no" - anyways we had some health issues that fell outside of their categories - mainly my husband's high blood pressure) We asked for and received written assurance that we would not require a medical certificate - maybe you should ask Paula directly? She's very helpful.

Liz
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Apr 4th, 2007, 06:19 AM
  #8  
 
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A quick follow-up on the medical forms in general - globally not just for Oz.

These forms/questions are justified. I would not look upon them as a simple inconvenience or reasons some have been denied the ability to dive - they are for your safety.

Scuba Diving is a wonderful sport with an excellent safety record. Like sky diving, bungie jumping, mountain climbing etc. - Scuba Diving has risks.

The sport has a safe record because of the many safeguards put in place.

My advice would be not to cheat on the forms, and if a medical evaluation is required - go get it and follow the Dr's advice.

Cheers

-s
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Apr 4th, 2007, 11:10 AM
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Liz, thanks for the info that SOF sent you the forms. I will email Paula. The Reef Sleep people said we had to have the dive certificate prior to diving (I think because of our age-59).

Steve, I heartily agree with your statements about the reason for the questions, which is why I wouldn't encourage people to lie on the questionaire or do it myself. One thing that has impressed us with what we have seen so far of the PADI certification process and the people in the shop is that they are 100% committed to safety. When we do go under water, we want that assurance of safety-first in the people we go with and the equipment.

Stamiya, yes, the website specifically mentioned that resort divers over 55 had to fill out the forms and get cleared by a dr. conversant with the Australian Standards if they had any of the conditions.

Sally in Seattle
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