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Web Alert: Changes In Aproach By The Italian Ministry Of Health To Reimbursements For Crew Medical Expenses Abroad

15 February 2017

The club has been made aware of a number of occasions where Italian crew, employed aboard Italian flagged vessels, received medical care outside of Italy and the Italian Ministry of Health has then rejected, or only partially reimbursed the shipowner, for the medical costs incurred.

The guidelines for reimbursement were updated in 20 July 2016. This resulted in the Ministry of Health becoming increasingly stringent in the way it applies its criteria for reimbursement of a crew members’ medical costs incurred outside of Italy to shipowners. As a result, requests which would have been reimbursed only twelve months ago are no longer being entertained.

The club understands that there are numerous requirements, noted in the guidelines issued by the Ministry, which must be followed in order for a reimbursement to be approved. It is further understood that the principal reason for reimbursement requests being rejected is due to the requirement for the medical services to have been provided by an affiliated doctor/facility. If these are not available locally then local public or private facilities can be used but will only be reimbursed within the limits of the guidelines. Reimbursement will then be considered against several other factors also noted within the guidelines.

In light of the apparent change of approach by the Italian Ministry of Health, the club urges members to comply with the guidelines issued by the Ministry so far as possible so as to ensure that their reimbursement requests are met in full.

A copy of the guidelines issued by the Ministry can be downloaded opposite.