Something I hope to never need; but nice to know if I ever do:
"Princess Achieves Industry First Medical Center Quality Accreditation
While illness or injury is of course unwelcome at any time, the thought of becoming sick while on a cruise vacation may understandably cause some apprehension. But rest assured, at Princess Cruises you are in the safest of hands as our shipboard medical centers hold the unique distinction of being the only medical services in the cruise industry to have achieved accreditation and certification by an internationally recognized health care quality organization.
Following a comprehensive health review encompassing Princess' medical facilities, staff and procedures, Princess Cruises has been awarded Caspe HealthCare Knowledge Systems (CHKS) accreditation and ISO 9001:2008 certification for outstanding quality in health care. CHKS is a major UK based organization which works with public and private health care providers worldwide. These awards recognize the excellent standards of medical care provided onboard our vessels.
Princess' medical centers are staffed by full time maritime medicine specialists who are available 24 hours a day in case of an emergency. Our facilities are equipped to deal with both minor injuries and most major medical conditions.
So, while this may be the one service you don't want to use during your vacation, you can feel secure with Princess Cruises knowing that each ship has a professional, caring, well trained medical staff available to assist you should the need arise."
I've had the opportunity to tour the medical facilities on several ships. Especially on the newer ships, the facilities are absolutely state-of-the-art care centers. They are equipped to diagnose and treat emergencies of all kinds, and to do many surgical procedures in an operating room setting.
Their purpose is not for ongoing care, but to treat emergencies so that passenger/patients can either resume their cruise or be stabilized enough to send off to a shore side hospital.
Having said that, I hope none of us ever has to take advantage of this terrific care!
Don't forget that while we are on the ships for a week or two, the crew is on for 3-6 months at a time. The reason why the infirmary hours seem so limited, is because when they are not treating passengers, the medical staff gives care to the crew. They also have to report the boards of health about norovirus, hepatitis A and other infectious diseases. The staff has to be kept up to date on vaccinations, and be treated for minor injuries like back strains, burns etc. They also do continous education in infection control and injury prevention!
They are after all floating cities!
That's a great point poormom. I hadn't thought about that either. Fortunately I've had to only go for a small cut from snorkeling once. They fixed me right up and didn't even charge me for the bandaids and ointment.
Princess has always been a leader in medical care. I recall they were the first cruise line to have live satellite linking with the Cedars-Sinai hospital, where specialists could "examine" patients on the ship and provide input to the ship's doctors. I'm not sure if that relationship still exists.
We, too, have unfortunately visited the Medical Center on Princess ships. They have amazing equipment. Poormom brought out a very good point, even while I was there on one occasion, the staff was yelling at one of the supervisors for not reporting an illness of one of their crew. Dave, I believe the up-link is still in place on their ships.
We had the misfortune to need the use of the medical center on the Ruby last year while in the Med. Four of the five of us got the norovirus and the fifth got H1N1. I can't say enough good about the care we received. Medication, medical staff checking on us 3-4 times a day, asthma inhaler given to us at no charge, one of us had to be re-hydrated by IV twice, blood tests, flu tests, X-box and movies sent to our cabin for the sick 11 year old, etc. Total medical bill was $300. Dr. Fred even signed tour vouchers so we would not be charged for $1000 worth of shore excursions that were just too active for my 85 year old mother.
The treatment was excellent. Dr. Fred and his staff knew us by name and were very caring. Where else could you get either a doctor and/or nurse stopping in to see you twice a day and calling two more times each day?