Specialised medical assessments delve deeper into various aspects of health and are conducted by qualified doctors to provide detailed insights into your health conditions, identify potential risks and recommend risk mitigation as per required.

Apart from performing safety checks on divers, we also provide recommendations+/- treatment for dive related injuries.

1. Dive Medical

Diving is not risk-free. Attending an introductory SCUBA diving course in a designated pool or tank presents a different risk profile compared to cave diving. The purpose of undergoing a Dive medical examination is to identify the medical risks associated with the type of diving you are interested in and to provide recommendations for risk mitigation.

At CHMC, we offer a range of dive- related services, including HUET medical assessments, initial dive medical examinations (for those who have never dived before), periodic medical check-ups (annually or as required by your organisation), and medical advice for those who are temporarily unfit to dive and working towards regaining fitness to dive.

What is the process of a Dive Medical?

The process of a dive medical is conducted in accordance with Australian Standards AS 4005.1 as outlined below:

    1. Completion of an online dive questionnaire (a link will be sent to you)
    2. Make an appointment with your regular GP to complete a health summary report* and have him/her supply copies of any specialist correspondence (e.g. two recent letters from the Cardiologist/Respiratory Physician/Surgeon).
      *Note: The health summary report should include details of your past medical/surgical history, prescription history, and information related to a diving risk assessment.
    3. Your regular GP will be required to arrange the following examinations (see Table 1). Item 2-6 can be performed at our practice if arranged before your medical (additional fees apply).
    4. If you attend a dive examination at our practice with the required documentation listed above, we will be able to provide you with the certification on the same day if all medical requirements are met.

In complex cases, you will be required to supply additional evidence e.g. supporting letter from an ENT surgeon following a procedure. A certificate will be sent to you once all the documents have been received.

Please note that Medicare rebate is not applicable for this service. However, you may claim the cost of medical as professional expenses if a dive medical is required for your occupation.

Requirements Remark
1. Health Summary Report completed by your GP with copies of specialist letters if relevant. This does not apply to regular patients at Castle Hill Medical Centre as we have access to your medical record.
2. Inspiratory / Expiratory Chest X-Ray We accept imaging reports* completed within 5 years.
*Note:
  • We cannot accept regular Chest X-Ray as it does not provide sufficient information for risk evaluation. Insp/ Exp views Chest XR is required regardless of age.
  • Chest X-Ray for a dive medical is not a Medicare rebate item.
3. ECG Completed within the last 5 years, required regardless of age.
4. Spirometry Completed within 2 weeks of attending your dive medical.
5. Audiogram Completed within 2 weeks of attending your dive medical.
6. Pathology Results*
*This includes FBC, UEC, LFT, fasting glucose, hba1c, fasting cholesterol- Total Chol, Tg, HDL, LDL.
This ONLY applies to candidates 35 years or older.
We accept results from the last 12 months, they may need to be repeated if clinically indicated.

Table 1: Dive Medical

2. Helicopter Underwater Emergency Training (HUET)

HUET is a mandatory training course if you are required to fly in a rotatory wing aircraft on a regular basis.

HUET provides you with the necessary skills to escape from the aircraft in the event of the above scenario, and statistically, HUET significantly improves a crew/passenger’s chance of survival in such event.

You will be required to attend HUET medical before attending the training course – HUET with EBS (Emergency Breathing System) or HUET without EBS.

What is the process of a HUET Medical?

Similar to a dive medical, your qualified doctor can complete the paperwork required by your unit/organisation to certify your medical fitness to participate in HUET with or without EBS.

The dive medical is conducted in accordance with Australian Standards AS 4005.1.

Your unit/training authority/organisation will provide you with specific instructions on arranging certain investigations before the day of the HUET medical.

Please send us the list of requirements via email at least 1-2 weeks before your training, and we will be able to offer guidance on what is needed from you.

We can perform the following tests (see Table 2) at an additional fee.

Requirements Remark
1. Medical Questionnaires/Paperwork
supplied by your training authority or organisation.
Please email us the electronic copies once completed.
2. Inspiratory/Expiratory Chest X-Ray We accept imaging reports* completed within 5 years.
*Note:
  • We cannot accept regular Chest X-Ray as it does not provide sufficient information for risk evaluation. Insp/ Exp views Chest XR is required regardless of age.
  • Chest X-Ray for a dive medical is not a Medicare rebate item.
3. ECG Completed within the last 5 years, required regardless of age.
4. Spirometry Completed within 2 weeks of attending your dive medical.
5. Audiogram Completed within 2 weeks of attending your dive medical.
6. Pathology Results*
*This includes FBC, UEC, LFT, fasting glucose, hba1c, fasting cholesterol- Total Chol, Tg, HDL, LDL.
This ONLY applies to candidates 35 years or older.
We accept results completed within the last 12 months, they may need to be repeated if clinically indicated.

Table 2: HUET Medical

Please note that Medicare rebate is not applicable for this service. However, you may claim the cost of medical as professional expenses if a dive medical is required for your occupation.

HUET refers to Helicopter Underwater Escape Training, a mandatory course for individuals required to fly regularly in rotary-wing aircraft.

In the event of an emergency over water, the pilot or aircrew may instruct passengers to exit the aircraft while hovering at a very low altitude over water, typically around 5 meters above the water level. If this is not feasible, the pilot may need to ditch the aircraft or conduct a controlled descent into the water. Helicopters, being head-heavy, tend to gradually sink and flip upside down.

HUET equips individuals with the necessary skills to escape from the aircraft in such scenarios. Statistically, HUET significantly improves the chances of survival for both crew and passengers in such events.

You will be required to attend a HUET Medical before participating in the course. There are two types of courses: HUET with EBS (Emergency Breathing System) and HUET without EBS.

EBS includes a small tank of compressed air connected to a breathing regulator (the mouthpiece). It enables the aircrew to breathe while underwater, providing them with extra time to escape from the sinking fuselage. Typically, EBS provides breathing air for 1 minute or 16 breaths, though this may vary between manufacturers and according to your physiological parameters.

HUET with EBS involves breathing compressed gas at depth, similar to diving. The gas in EBS is typically air at sea level, consisting of 78% Nitrogen and 21% Oxygen. When assessing fitness for attending HUET with EBS, we need to consider your risk of diving in a controlled environment.

Additionally, it is essential to confirm the trainee’s musculoskeletal fitness as well as mental stability in order to prevent injury to the trainee and other participants.

Injuries are not uncommon with HUET; the common injuries include musculoskeletal issues, barotrauma to the eardrum or sinuses, and occasional psychological discomfort for swimmers.

It’s important to emphasise that HUET is a safe training course. Students are under the watchful eyes of divers, and instructors are within arm’s length to assist should the need arise.

Dr Armand Edison is a qualified Underwater Medicine Medical Officer and Aviation Medical Officer in the Royal Australian Navy, his job role involves treating various acute and chronic injuries in the elite athlete population on a daily basis.

As a Medical Officer, Dr. Edison offers Dive Medical – Recreational & Commercial and HUET Medical examinations at our practice.

Special interests: Dive Medical, Aviation Medicine, Sports injuries and Emergency Medicine.

Contact Us

For more information about the assessments, please contact our Workplace Health Team at 02 8865 0633 or email workplacehealth@chmc.com.au