Before a seafarer can work on board a ship, he/she is required to undergo medical examinations to verify his capability or fitness to work. That’s the main reason why seafarers should value their health or else they will lose their jobs. A few months ago I was instructed by my agency to undergo medical examination at SuperCare Medical Services Inc. as a basic requirement for employment. SuperCare or SMSI is located at 573 Patria Bldg., Maria Orosa cor. Engracia Reyes, Ermita, Manila.
Actually, that was my first time to undergo medical examination at SuperCare since my previous agency sends their crew into a different clinic. Here’s my personal experience and observation regarding the facilities and services of SuperCare Medical Services Inc. Take note that this is just my personal experience and it does not reflect what others may have undergone.
What are the steps I took during my physical examination at SuperCare Medical Services Inc.?
Upon arrival, you should leave your government ID in exchange for a visitor’s ID at the ground floor entrance. Show the referral form given by your agency. The guard will then hand you a form that needs to be filled up with personal details. Give the accomplished form to the reception counter at the ground floor. The receptionist will evaluate your filled up form, give you another set of papers, and you will be directed to 3rd floor for assessment and photo capturing.
After doing the initial steps above, they will give you a set of papers with a checklist of examinations that you need to undergo. Examples are blood extraction, urine and fecal tests, physical examination (this is the part where the doctor checks your genital and anus), Ishihara, psychological test, ECG, x-ray, audiometry, dental test, visual test, and more depending on the exam package required by your agency.
In your checklist, you will find where the test or examination being held. For example, psychometry is being conducted at the 7th floor of the building. All tests are conducted from 2nd floor to 7th floor. Tip: You do not need to follow the checklist by number. It means you can undergo testing in any order. If a certain test has a long queue, proceed to other examination with fewer people. But I suggest the first thing you should do is undergo blood extraction and submit your urine and feces right away. I usually leave psychological examination at the last part since it consumes longer time.
How do they handle the patients? What about the facilities?
I actually like how SuperCare handles the flow of patients. You don’t need to physically fall in line when you wait for your turn for a specific test. Just place your checklist/personal information sheet on their designated box and wait for your name to be called. All you need to do is find a seat near the testing area. The facilities are also conducive to relaxing because of good air-conditioning, adequate lighting, and they have water dispenser every floor where you can drink for free. Not all clinics do that free water thing, some clinics that I know sell bottled water inside the clinic itself. A very thriving business for some indeed.
At the ground floor of the building, there’s a restaurant if you need to take your lunch. I don’t know if it is also owned by the owners of SuperCare. It is convenient if you are in a hurry, but mind you, the food is quite expensive. A drugstore is also located at the ground floor if in any case you were required medication by the doctor who examined you.
What are other people saying about SuperCare?
Before having my medical examination at SuperCare, I already heard rumors about that clinic way back before from other seafarers. Things that do not sound so good. Rumors that those people might really have experienced it or they might just have heard of it from others also. Gossips about corruption and the like. I don’t really know if those are true or not. But based on what I have heard, it has a bad reputation. But my experience with SuperCare shows me differently.
I noticed signs posted inside SuperCare Medical Services Inc. building which states that they condemn corruption and bribery. Probably long ago that was their problem, and maybe the people involved with that are already gone by now. Probably the management are trying their best to eliminate rotten eggs from the fresh ones. Maybe they were successful with it or perhaps they are about to be successful with it. We do not really know the exact truth about that matter. But based only on my own experience with SuperCare, they provided me good service and facilities. With regards to corruption issues, I have not encountered it with them yet.
I passed my medical examination that day without any problem. No additional testing, no additional medication, or any additional services. Thanks to proper diet and healthy lifestyle. But one event captured my attention that day after I finished the examination. When I’m about to claim my ID at the ground floor, a guard approached and asked me if I have any referral or if I need any referral for any additional examination or service. I don’t know why he asked that, but when I replied that I was not given any referral or I do not need any referral he then seems like in awe or in shock. Maybe he’s expecting that I did not pass the examination? Or maybe that was just his reaction seemed to me. Anyway, perhaps I was just overthinking the event.
What’s the verdict?
In conclusion, the service of SuperCare Medical Services Inc. is good and their facilities are great in my own opinion and observation. Rumors that I have heard before were not true based only on my own personal experience. I don’t know about with others.
What about you? Have you experienced any negative events with SuperCare? Please drop by at the comment section below and let us hear you.
Disclaimer: I’m not endorsing SuperCare or whatsoever. My main goal for this post is to share what I experienced with them.