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On any given day, GPs around the UK give HGV medical tests to commercial drivers required to demonstrate good health in order to continue working. A GP traditionally charges about £100 for the test. Yet there is another option that can be had for half the price: a mobile medical service known as Doctors on Wheels. The Leicester-based company offers mobile medicals for a number of professions at reduced rates.

Earlier this month The Express observed Doctors on Wheels in action at a lorry park in Kent. It also interviewed several drivers to find out just what was going on inside the mobile medical van. One driver told The Express that her entire experience, consisting of a health questionnaire, blood pressure measurement and vision test, lasted a mere 15 minutes. She told the paper it just felt odd.

The Express asked the Freight Transport Association (FTA) about their impression of Doctors on Wheels. The association is understandably concerned, first and foremost, with the quality of the medicals being provided. Although the FTA believes everything the company is doing is legal, it wonders if the medicals are thorough enough.

Another concern of the mobile medicals is the cost. According to The Express, Doctors on Wheels offers the HGV medical for £51 on weekdays and £59 on weekends. There is some concern that offering services so cheaply reduces the quality of the medical exam.

In their defence, Doctors on Wheels maintains it employs a team of fully registered UK doctors. It also says that everything done by them is compliant with the law.

Do What’s Best for You

The HGV Training Centre does not take any official position regarding Doctors on Wheels or the medical services provided by them. We do remind drivers of their responsibility to pass routine medicals in order to keep working. Beyond that, it is our belief that each driver needs to do what is best for him or herself in this regard.

The point behind the HGV medical is to make sure you are healthy enough to continue driving safely. Let’s face it; we all lose some of our physical performance as we get older. Eyes tend to dim, reaction times tend to get slower, and that little bit of extra weight can increase blood pressure and heart rate. A standard medical exam is a necessary part of maintaining road safety.

Please also bear in mind that your health effects everyone else on the road. For example, poor vision could contribute to a crash that could seriously injure someone else or cause a death. That’s not something you want on your conscience.

Please do not take any chances with your health. You owe it to yourself, your family, and everyone else on the road to make sure you are physically fit to drive commercially. If you’re not fit, we encourage you to strongly consider surrendering your licence and looking for work elsewhere. Although it is difficult to give up a job, doing so is far better than being responsible for a deadly crash.

Sources:

  1. The Express – http://www.express.co.uk/news/health/466360/Half-price-eye-tests-for-HGV-licences-from-the-back-of-a-van

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