Queensland SCUBA Diving Medical Requirements
When diving in Australia there are different regulations and requirements compared to those in other countries. The following rules apply in Queensland:
Introductory: You will need to fill in a Medical Questionnaire given to you by the company you are diving with, and similar to that shown below. If answering YES to any question it will not necessarily disqualify you from diving, but will indicate the need for a medical assessment by a qualified physician prior to diving. Your dive medical can either be done by your own private physician at home or here in Cairns and must state that you are 'fit to dive'.
Learn To Dive Courses and Referral Programs: You may be required to have a dive medical to complete your Learn to dive course. If you answer YES to any of the questions listed below you will be required to have a dive medial completed stating that you are fit to dive. Your dive medical can be done either by your own private physician at home or here in Cairns. A dive medical in Cairns is around AUD$99 per person.
Experienced Divers: Prior to diving, you may be asked to fill out a Medical Questionnaire. Some companies make it policy and some don't, unfortunately it is still quite a grey area and the rules are not hard and fast.
The purpose of the questionnaire is to determine whether you should be examined by a doctor. There may be a pre-existing condition that has not stopped you from diving in your own country, but Australian laws do not allow; or perhaps there could be a new condition developed since you became qualified to dive which may well affect your safety while diving now.
So, basically if you answer YES to any of the conditions listed on the Medical Questionnaire (see sample below), we strongly recommend you to see a physician for further assessment.
If you are qualified and are sitting at your desk thinking that you are fine and that all this medical stuff really does not concern you, let us finish by saying that there have been many cases where a qualified diver has been disqualified from diving when they have already made the trek to the reef, simply because their medical condition becomes known to the dive instructor. At the end of the day the dive instructor is controlling the dives, and your safety is their responsibility whether you like it or not!
Sample Medical Questionnaire
Please note that this is a sample only and may not be same as the questionnaire that you are issued onboard your dive/snorkel trip
- Could you be pregnant or are you attempting to become pregnant?
- Is your BMI over 30 AND your waist circumference greater than 102cm for males or 88cms for females.
- Are you presently taking prescription medications? (with the exception of birth control or anti-malarial)
- Are you over 45 years of age and can answer YES to one or more of the following?
- currently smoke a pipe, cigars or cigarettes
- have a high cholesterol level
- have a family history of heart attack or stroke
- are currently receiving medical care
- high blood pressure
- diabetes mellitus, even if controlled by diet alone
- Have you ever had or do you currently have:
- Asthma, wheezing with breathing or wheezing with exercise?
- Frequent or severe attacks of hayfever or allergy?
- Frequent colds, sinusitis or bronchitis?
- Any form of lung disease?
- Pneumothorax (collapsed lung)?
- Other chest disease or chest surgery?
- Behavioural health, mental or psychological problems (panic attack, fear or closed or open spaces)?
- Epilepsy, seizures, convulsions or take medications to prevent them?
- Recurring complicated migraine headaches or take medications to prevent them?
- Blackouts or fainting (full/partial loss of consciousness)?
- Frequent or severe suffering from motion sickness (seasick, carsick, etc)?
- Dysentery or dehydration requiring medical intervention?
- Any dive accidents or decompression sickness?
- Inability to perform moderate exercise (example: walk 1.6klm/one mile within 12 mins.)?
- Head injury with loss of consciousness in the past five years?
- Recurrent back problems?
- Back or spinal surgery?
- Back, arm or leg problems following surgery, injury or fracture?
- High blood pressure or take medicine to control blood pressure?
- Heart disease?
- Heart attack?
- Angina, heart surgery or blood vessel surgery?
- Sinus surgery?
- Ear disease or surgery, hearing loss or problems with balance?
- Recurrent ear problems?
- Bleeding or other blood disorders?
- Ulcers or ulcer surgery?
- A colostomy or ileostomy?
- Recreational drug use or treatment for, or alcoholism in the past five years?
Don't let yourself find out after you reach the reef that you don't qualify medically, as it may very well be a wasted trip to the reef.
Please note that dive medicals are
Introductory Diving / Discover SCUBA DIVING
If you are doing an introductory dive on our Liveaboard or one of our Day trip boats, you will be asked to fill out and sign the following Medical form:
Introductory Diver Form (Download)
Please review this form and if you answer "YES" to any questions on the Medical form, you will be required to obtain a Queensland recreational dive medical clearance. This must be arranged prior to day of departure.
If you have a medical question and if you are taking any Prescription Medication (not oral contraception), we require you to email Cairns Dive Centre with your name, date of birth, details of the medication, dosage and the reason you are taking it. Once received we will let you know prior to booking if you can or can not dive, with evidence from a dive doctor.
PADI Open Water Students (learn to dive)
If you are enrolling in an entry-level recreational diving certificate you must, prior to commencing the training, complete and submit a self assessed medical declaration form:
Medical statement for Entry-Level Student Divers (Download)
If you answer "YES" to any question on the Medical Statement you are required to obtain a Queensland recreational dive medical clearance
All persons undertaking training for an entry level recreational diving certificate must be at least a minimum of 12 years of age. If the diver is under the age of 18 years, parental or guardian consent should be obtained for the diver to undertake training for an entry-level recreational diving certificate.
Continuing SCUBA Education (PADI Advanced, Rescue etc)
You will be asked to fill out the continuing education admin form. If you answer "YES" to any medical question you are required to obtain a Queensland recreational dive medical clearance.
PADI Continuing Education Admin Form (Download)
Need help in finding a Queensland Diving Doctor ?
- 24 Hour Medical Center, Corner of Florence & Grafton Streets - Phone 07 4052 1119
- Dr Graham Simpson, Flecker House, 5 Upward Street, Cairns - Phone 07 4031 4095
- McLeod Street Medical, 67 McLeod Street, Cairns - Phone 07 4052 1583
- Dr Greg Crafter, Flecker House, 5 Upward Street, Cairns - Phone 07 4041 2066
- Cairns Central Medical Centre, McLeod Street, Cairns - Phone 07 4031 3717
- Barrier Reef Medical Centre, 377 Sheridan Street, Cairns - Phone 07 4051 6299
- Cairns Sports Medicine, 126 Mulgrave Rd, Cairns - Phone 07 4051 3944
- Cairns Tourist & Local Medical Services, 15 Lake Street, Cairns - Phone 07 4041 1699
- Toogood Rd Medical Centre, 28 Toogood Road, Woree - Phone 07 4054 3336
- Edge Hill Medical Practice, 1A/132 Collins Avenue, Edge Hill - Phone 07 4053 7677
- Smithfield Medical Centre, Cnr Cook Hwy & McGregor Rd, Smithfield - Phone 07 4057 7300
- Trinity Beach Medical Centre, 1 Rabaul Street, Trinity Beach - Phone 07 4055 6281