Remote health care for Antarctica: the BAS medical unit

An occupational health unit has been established by British Antarctic Survey (BAS) which utilises the philosophy and principles employed to provide health care for offshore workers on the UK continental shelf. The central problem is the distance and time which separates the remote worker from the sophisticated diagnostic and specialist services which other sections of the community enjoy. BAS has resolved this by the establishment of a coordinating medical unit and by setting up special training programmes for the population at risk, together with the provision of increasingly effective systems of communication. The ultimate aim is the provision of full diagnostic and specialist services at the remote work-site in the Antarctic through the medium of the resident doctor or health care worker and through increasingly sophisticated communications. A retrospective study of Antarctic morbidity has been undertaken to provide a base-line, and a prospective database has now been set up to provide ongoing surveillance of the system and an evaluation of the effectiveness of this approach to the health care of remote communities.


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Authors: Norman, J.N., Laws, R.M.

1 October, 1988
Polar Record / 24
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