Dive Doctors

Questions relating to medical issues and treatment. Where possible and appropriate, we will request comment from qualified and reputable NZ-based diving doctors. If your query relates to a personal medical issue, we recommend you contact your GP or relevant medical specialist.

Is there any real reason for the NZ required COC to be an active Instructor

YES
5
63%
NO
3
38%
 
Total votes : 8

Dive Doctors

Postby jase » Tue Jul 03, 2007 9:33 am

Guys, do we know any good dive doctors in the lower north island?I need a commercial divers medical. I have looked on the spumes site and the government site and both are outdated. I have found 1 in New Plymouth and 1 in Rotorua, was kinda wanting one in palmy, but Dr fuller has retired too!. I would be surprised if there was not one in wellington, but i cant seem to track one done. Help!
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Postby DiveDiva » Tue Jul 03, 2007 10:23 am

There's a list of Dive Doctors here, if that's any help to you Jase http://www.divenewzealand.com/diveinfo.asp

For Palmy there is:

Dr G Barton Linton Military Camp 06 351 9585
Dr DB Fulton 06 358 0294
Dr A Warnock Linton Military Camp 06 351 9561
Dr A Wyeth Linton Military Camp 06 351 9572


I think the COC does serve a purpose - although I think it would be more beneficial if active instructors were made to have a full medical every 12 months, like in the UK.

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Postby Azza » Tue Jul 03, 2007 11:17 am

The COC is a pain in the a*** and I personally think it's not needed...A waste of time and money. I only do it because I have to...I think a lot of people dont. In fact, you only have to do it if you teach for profit I believe, so set up a company and teach through your company and dont pay yourself as an instructor,just pay yourself a director's salary.
A medical every year would suffice.
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Postby jase » Wed Jul 04, 2007 9:51 am

Thanks DD, but none of them are here any more that is an outdated list. Its frustrating to have to search for one rather than there being an up to date list that is readily acessable.

I think it is a bit of a joke that the navy are the self proclaimed "center of excellence" for diving. I do not doubt that they have a very good team of doctors and the facility is fantastic up there, but i don't believe that a single doctor up there should be giving the final ok, especially when he is reviewing what a diving doctor has recommended. I may be wrong here, and have no doubts that someone will put me in my place ....But i bet that the doc in Davenport is not the most highly qualified diving doc in NZ, on that assumption ( again i am cringing someone will have a strong argument here)they should not be the person that gives the final OK.

I know of an Instructor that is having a really difficult time at the moment. He is a qualified PADI instructor and has recently done the crossover to SSI. He is disabled but he has worked in Aus for a few years, and has had no problems. He passed all of the SSI course requirements and then got declined on his COC. The answer from them is they did not believe he could conduct all of the skills because of his disability. He responded by asking which ones he could not do, and said ( in quite strong terms) that he would be more than willing to come up to Auckland ( at personal expense) and show them that he could in fact do everything. The voice at the other end of the phone said...well i will have to find out if we can do that and if i can find someone to try it with....as i am not a diver! Outrageous.

Still, i guess i will pay the $75, and get on with life. There endith the bubbles.

PS, am still keen to find a good Diving Doctor in lower north island, so let me know pease.
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Postby Andy » Wed Jul 04, 2007 10:35 am

jase - aren't you heading up to the Poor Knights soon???? My suggestion would be to phone Oxygen Therapies (www.hbot.co.nz), which is where I get my medicals done, and extend your trip by a few hours.

They have everything on site needed for a commercial medical - because don't forget you need a hearing test, eye sight tests, probably a chest x-ray and all that Jazz. They are awesome, way cheaper than the Navy and generally have appointments open for any day.

In my opinion, the list of Designated Diving Doctors is a waste of time. most of them (GPs) have very limited knowledge of diving medicine. Most of them apply the aviation medical tests and call it a diving medical. My standard GP - who is a DDD - had to look up what a sharpened Rhomburg test was. I'm not surprised that a lot of diving medicals are viewed with suspicion. Get it done by the people who do them all the time - OTL or the Navy.

jase wrote:I may be wrong here, and have no doubts that someone will put me in my place ....But i bet that the doc in Davenport is not the most highly qualified diving doc in NZ


Probably. The guy who does the final sign off is Des Gorman - who helped write the PADI nitrox manuals and has a whole bunch of experience. Looking at it from a superficial point of view, I'd say it's probably a toss up between Des and Simon Mitchell for most qualified and knowledgable diving doctor. Des certainly know his sh!t, though...
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Postby powley » Wed Jul 04, 2007 5:46 pm

navy hospital is alot cheaper than it used to be, cant give details cos accountant has all that rubbish for now.

for dive doctors try dive NZ magazine, there is a list in those of dive doctors, though not all will do commercial
death can be fatal
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Postby DiveDiva » Wed Jul 04, 2007 5:48 pm

powley wrote:
for dive doctors try dive NZ magazine, there is a list in those of dive doctors, though not all will do commercial


That's the list I gave Jase but sadly it appears to be out of date :cry:

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Postby Gregv » Sun Jul 08, 2007 9:59 am

Hi Jase

Helen Fieldes can conduct a commercial dive medical (I assume you want to apply to OSH for your certificate of competence). She was based in Wellington until recently - 027 2215335.

I do quite a few OSH medicals, but I'm probably a bit far north for you.

I saw someone say a chest xray might be needed earlier in this thread. You only need that if your history or exam suggests it is required. The only mandatory investigations at present are flow loop spirometry and tone audiometry.

I'll ask around and see if anyone is currently doing OSH medicals in Palmy.

PM me if you want more information

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Postby Diverdown » Mon Jul 09, 2007 12:18 am

There is a Dr Ingrid Muller in Napier at "The Doctors". Shes a good one

On a side note, I had an experience with a student who was on her O/W course. Got her medical back from her Doc and it was left open at the Can/Cant dive end. It had in the notes at the bottem. "Up to the Instructor" for her asthma. I couldnt believe that a doctor wanted me to make the call. Safe to say we never used him again. Sent her to our normal Dr (the one above) and she failed, due to her Asthma.
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Postby jase » Tue Jul 10, 2007 11:23 am

Thanks Guys, i will chase up your suggestion Gregv, wellington would be great. I am surprised that there is so much deviation within the diving doctors community. i was booked in to see dr fuller in palmy, but sadly could not make it in. i got all the info from his receptionist and she said that i would defiantly need an xray. Weird. i guess that what i get for no going to dr school.
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Postby Azza » Tue Jul 10, 2007 11:59 am

jase wrote:i got all the info from his receptionist and she said that i would defiantly need an xray.
I was told the same thing.
Helen Fields is a good sort. If you go see her tell her Azza sez Gday
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Postby Andy » Tue Jul 10, 2007 12:09 pm

When I did mine, I was told that "Devonport will probably send it back and ask for a chest x-ray". Thankfully, they didn't - but then I'd had one in the last couple of years anyway.

There's an awful lot of misinformation out there. I know of (not personally) someone who was told that they couldn't sit an IE because they'd failed the CoC medical on some small point. They had a valid recreational medical. To my mind, they were probably fit to dive, just maybe needing further tests before being fit for commercial diving. I'm 99.99% that you don't need a CoC in order to take the IE....??
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Postby DiveDiva » Tue Jul 10, 2007 12:12 pm

Andy wrote: I'm 99.99% that you don't need a CoC in order to take the IE....??


I'm sure that is correct. But you would need a dive medical so may as well get it if you are planning on teaching in NZ.

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Postby Andy » Tue Jul 10, 2007 12:17 pm

DiveDiva wrote:I'm sure that is correct. But you would need a dive medical so may as well get it if you are planning on teaching in NZ.


Yup, agreed. But this person had an in-date dive medical and was (alledgedly) told by a dive shop that he had to have a CoC in order to sit the IE.... and after finishing the IDC had to wait several months before the next IE came around.

I know of someone else who was told that their CoC they got as a DM was not valid for Instructing, and so they were advised to get another commercial medical and reapply. Thankfully, one phone call to Geoff sorted that particular nonsense out....
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Postby Azza » Tue Jul 10, 2007 12:25 pm

If you dont teach for profit or gain you dont need a CoC at all
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