At the Fishermen’s Mission, we know you may be understandably very anxious about the ML5 medicals – what they may discover and what this may mean for your future. We are always here to confidentially talk through your results, to help with any follow-up appointments, and to help you provide the right information if you need a further referral as well as all your other needs.

As the November 30th 2023   deadline approaches, we can help explain what the ML5 certificate requirement is. You may have heard of ‘grandfather rights’ but don’t really know what it means.  There are suggestions that this relates only to ‘older people’ and those who may have grand-children . . . it does not mean this at all.

‘Grandfather rights’ are provisions or exemptions where old rules or ways of doing things continue to apply under certain circumstances when new rules, new situations, and new ways of working are introduced. Those who are considered to be ‘exempt’ from the new rules are said to have ‘grandfather rights’. In the context of the ML5 medical, it means that some pre-existing health conditions may not be the problem that some think they might be.


Most importantly, to guarantee that ‘grandfather rights’ remain available to you, it is crucial that you are ‘in the system’ before November 30th 2023.  Do not lose your grandfather rights by not taking a medical.  If you have any concerns, please talk to us or your medical practitioner early, especially if you have concerns about any health condition. You can talk to us in the strictest confidence. We will never share or discuss your personal information with anyone else. . . it’s just between you and us.

What we can say, is that there have been some life-saving discoveries because of these medicals. Fishermen who have not shown any obvious symptoms have had life-threatening conditions identified and are now receiving the treatment they might otherwise have missed out on. 

We understand that the ML5 medicals may bring worry and uncertainty. At the Fishermen’s Mission, your health and well-being are our priority. We are here to help you through this process so please do get in touch with us. Check out our Facebook pages and website or chat with any of our staff in and around the ports.