Health and Welfare
Home from home for seafarers
Hamburg has a long tradition of work by seamen’s missions and seamen’s churches. Numerous institutions offer seafarers low-cost overnight facilities and give them a feeling of being welcomed far from home. Not far from the St. Pauli Landing Stages is the Roman Catholic ‘Stella Maris’ seamen’s mission. The Finnish, Danish, Swedish and Norwegian seamen’s churches are all on nearby Ditmar-Koel-Strasse. Just downriver in Grosse Elbstraße is the German Seamen’s Mission in Altona. The bar here, billiards, ping pong, table football, PCs, Internet, etc., help seafarers to enjoy their leisure. A very special establishment is the ‘Duckdalben’ seaman’s club in Waltershof. This combines a leisure centre, prayer space, pub, post office, foreign exchange counter, church and corner shop with an integrated Internet café and Karaoke Bar, as well as a sports field. It’s also a contact point manned by helpful staff and volunteers capable of assisting seafarers with a multitude of challenges when they come ashore. In 2011 seafarers named ‘Duckdalben’ as the world’s finest and most attractive seamen’s club.
Medical care for seafarers ashore and on board
Port medical services and mobile medical units provide medical care and advice for seafarers. Treatment is also available at doctors’ offices or on board ship, and includes fitness tests for shipboard service, or in the Norwegian offshore sector. They also supervise hygiene on ships and provide vaccinations and counselling for seafarers. The Port Medical Service also provides a free and confidential medical examination and advice for them at the ‘Duckdalben’ seamen’s club between 17:00 and 22.00 every Monday. Medicaments are supplied by pharmacies in the port. Along with deliveries to ships and shipyards, the range of services also includes stocking and checking of ship’s sick bays and rendering First Aid following accidents involving dangerous goods.
Under the Microscope
The Port of Hamburg pays special attention to foodstuffs. Whether beef from South America, frozen fish from Iceland, snails from Indonesia, milk, honey or cheese, but also hides, skins, fats or dog food, barely anything comes under such close scrutiny. Before arriving in the marketplace, all products of animal origin are subject to a series of checks.
The Border Veterinary Office in the Port of Hamburg is the largest frontier control point of its kind in Germany. Three checkpoints give the Port of Hamburg excellent infrastructure for conducting checks swiftly to save time. These are conducted by veterinary officers in ultra-hygienic conditions. The first check establishes whether the product actually corresponds to what has been declared. The second determines whether the packing has been damaged, and the third is for smell. Checks on taste are also customary. After examination and issue of import or transit permits by the Veterinary Office, goods go on to the Customs. The Veterinary Office refers any faulty products to Rothenburgsort Public Health Office.