Funkärztliche Beratung (Medico) Cuxhaven
Helios Klinik Cuxhaven
Altenwalder Chaussee 10
27474 Cuxhaven

Phone: +49 4721 785
Fax: +49 4721 78 39 15


Telemedical maritime assistance in Cuxhaven since 1931

Already since 1931 has the hospital in Cuxhaven administered the medical care of seafarers on the seven seas with telemedical assistance. In 1937 the ownership of the federal hospital passed to the town to become the municipal hospital which still took care of the telemedical care of seafarers.

Several assistance services after World War II

After the Second World War for various reasons the assistance was conducted at several insitutions at the same time. In post-war Germany maritime shipping was completely banned. Of course after relaxation of the ban, medical inquiries began again as well, mostly however in English. Because of the often occuring language difficulties, an informal agreement was reached with the military hospital of the US Forces in Bremerhaven which was involved in assistance services from the on.

The radio calls coming in at "Norddeich Radio" were handled by the pysicians of the "Wasser-Schifffahrtsverwaltung" (waterways and shipping administration) in Emden until 1955. After this authority stopped their assistance service, the hospital in Norden stood in for a short time.

Kiel Radio resumed its role 1946 and directed medical inquiries to the physicians at the local waterways and shipping authorities.

Cuxhaven resumes sole responsibility

Throughout the whole post-war era the municipal hospital in Cuxhaven remained available to ill seafarers with telemedical maritime  assistance, albeit on a reduced scale.

From 1956 circumstances became more managable. Of all assistance services in West Germany only Cuxhaven remained. Dr. Lessing medical director and head of internal medicine of the municipal hospital Cuxhaven took over all of the assistance servicesin West Germany. For the most part "Norddeich Radio" established the connection between Cuxhaven and sailing ships all over the world.

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New legal basis

Up until the 1990s the telemedical maritime assistance service was mostly conducted on a pro bono basis by the physicians of the municipal hospital Cuxhaven. Up to then the physicians had assisted in 42,000 cases since 1960.

In 1994 the Federal Republic of Germany joined the 16 4. Convention of the International Labour Organisation ILO. This international agreement obliges every nation, among other things, to provide a qualified telemedical maritime assistance service for seafarers.

In 1997 the Federal Republic of Germany settled the individual aspects of the telemedical maritime assistance service in an agreement between the Federal Ministry of Transport and the town Cuxhaven, the resposible of the municipal  hospital at the time.

The ILO Convention No. 164 merged into the International Maritime Labour Convention in 2013.

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Privatisation of the Hospital Cuxhaven

On 1. January 2004 the Rhön-Klinikum AG took over the previous municipal hospital Cuxhaven. It entered into the existing agreement with the Federal Ministry of Transport which meant that the assistance service could seamlessly continue.

In 2013 the legislator transfered the resposibility for the telemedical assistance service to BG Verkehr. And BG Verkehr has in turn delegated the practical implementation of the assistance service to the Hospital Cuxhaven. The Maritime medical Service of BG Verkehr is closely linked to the telemedical maritime assistance service.

In 2014 Helios Kliniken GmbH took over Cuxhaven Hospital and has conducted the telemedical martime assistance on behalf of BG Vekehr since.

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