Medical University - Varna is the first university in Bulgaria, adopted as a full corporate member of the International Maritime Health Association (IMHA). This was a decision by the IMHA Board of Directors in January this year. One of most important lines of the IMHA activities is the improvement and accreditation of the quality of maritime clinics, and the development of standards for doctors who issue seafarers' medical fitness certificates. Standards are endorsed by the IMHA Accreditation Unit.
The membership of MU - Varna will contribute to the establishment of the University as a leader in the professional, and scientific and practical medical training. The University Maritime Healthcare Centre aims to assist other organizations, administrations, shipping companies and professional bodies to improve the health and medical monitoring of maritime industry personnel, to produce reports and guidelines in the maritime field through providing maritime medical expertise and initiatives for maritime healthcare. The University will also work on maritime health education and training, the development of quality medical services and systems in the maritime sector, and the promotion of research in the field of maritime healthcare, the exchange of ideas and outcomes of research projects.
This membership will also encourage research in the field of various risks and effectiveness of interventions used to prevent or treat seafarers' health problems. The results of these studies can be used to improve maritime healthcare practice and provide better standards of maritime health through enhancing scientific knowledge, and ensuring ethical and fair treatment for seafarers.
The International Maritime Health Association (IMHA) is a non-profit organization with members of professionals from a wide range of disciplines that seek to improve the health of seafarers through developing better approaches to protect and promote health and healthcare at both local and international level. IMHA has been registered in Belgium as an international association since 14.07.1998.