Lack of Doctors on board. Assarmatori and Confitarma joint letter to the Health Minister Roberto Speranza

The presidents of the two Associations, Stefano Messina and Mario Mattioli, ask for the Minister urgently intervention to solve the lack of doctors’ problem, unable to be embarked on Italian flag ships.


Mario Mattioli, Chairman of Confitarma and Stefano Messina, Chairman of Assarmatori, have sent an open letter to the Italian Minister for Health, Roberto Speranza, calling for an urgent solution to the problem of the lack of doctors.


Extreme concern is expressed in the letter published on the websites of the two associations ( and This situation has long been reported as a problem at an operational level and it has worsened with the current Covid-19 emergency.


The risk is that a real social emergency may break out with thousands of citizens stranded on the docks and unable to move to and from the islands – effectively deprived of the territorial continuity constitutional right.


Confitarma and Assarmatori are pleased to note the letter effects; in fact, the competent Directorate General of the Ministry of Health has issued a document on the matter. This latter extends to 30 days the authorization (as provided for by a Royal Decree of 1897) to embark doctors qualified to practice the profession, in the absence of doctors on board.


Unfortunately, while appreciating the prompt response of the Institutions, the Shipowners’ Associations believe that the initiative taken by the Ministry is not decisive, given that, at present, there are no medical personnel available for embarkation as they are already dedicated to other health activities. The doctors’ shortage on the whole national territory has already been identified by the Government in the preparation and implementation of the COVID-SARS 2 vaccination campaign.


Confitarma and Assarmatori have asked for further urgent intervention of Minister Speranza in order to adopt an appropriate derogation to the application of the Ministerial Decree of 13 June 1986. This would entail either the full respect of the provisions on the matter, as it is established by the Maritime Labour Convention 2006, or the possibility of resorting the H24 medical assistance service provided by IRMC (International Radio Medical Centre), linked by a historical collaboration with the Italian shipowners.