Nautilus is encouraging UK members to take part in a consultation on whether the fixed price for seafarer medicals (ENG1) should be abolished.
The reasoning behind the consultation is that the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) believes the current low fee deters approved doctors (ADs) from providing medicals. ADs are a network of doctors, both in the UK and around the globe, that the MCA has approved to carry out ENG1 examinations on seafarers.
The MCA says that allowing the fee to be set by market forces could allow approved doctors to 'recover a fee that is more comparable to the time taken for the medical'.
However, Nautilus head of professional and technical David Appleton believes the move may drive up prices for seafarers.
'We are concerned that removing the cap and leaving pricing up to 'market forces' could lead to significant price increases especially in parts of the country where there is already a shortage of MCA approved doctors,' he said.