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Malta's National health system

The Goverment of Malta provides a comprehensive health service to all Maltese residents that is entirely free at the point of delivery. This health service is funded from general taxation. All residents have access to preventive, investigative, curative and rehabilitative services in Government Health Centres and Hospitals. Persons with a low income are 'means tested' by the Department of Social Security. If they qualify for assistance, they receive a card which entitles them to free pharmaceuticals. Moreover, a person who suffers from one or more of a specified list of chronic diseases (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis) is also entitled to receive free treatment for his /her ailment, irrespective of financial means.

Private health services exist alongside the Government service.

Health assistance for regular immigrants:

Regular immigrants pay for healthcare, unless there is an agreement between there country and malta.

If you own a European health insurance card.

If you need healthcare, go directly to a Government Health Centre or the Accident and Emergency Department of a public hospital. You will not be charged for necessary care as long as you present your passport and your EHIC, Provisional Replacement Certificate or equivalent. Please note that an original document is required.You will have to pay for the cost of any prosthesis and any follow-up prescribed medication, excluding medication prescribed for the first three days after discharge from hospital.

Health assistance for refuge statis immigrants:

Immigrants with refuge statis are granted the same privellages as maltese citizens, that is free health care at any poly clinic or goverment hospital.

Health assistance for irregular immigrants:

They are immediately checked for health problems on arrival then, while they are in detention, it is then the responsibility of the government to look after their needs.

If, and when, they are allowed to stay in Malta , and they leave the detention centre, they are given documents so that they can receive free treatment at any government poly-clinic as do all citizens in Malta.

EU nationals

In accordance with the provisions of the EC Regulation 1407/71 dealing with the provision of health care in another EU/EEA Member State, free medical treatment can only be provided by state hospitals and health centres upon presentation of a certificate approving such entitlement. The CERTIFICATE OF ENTITLEMENT is invariably required is a person has not contributed directly to the Maltese health care scheme.

Citizens from the EU Member States and EEA nationals living in Malta should therefore contact the social security/social insurance office of their home state to apply for the appropriate E Form signifying their entitlement of health care under the social security/social insurance legislation of their country of origin. Upon receipt of this form they should contact the Entitlement Unit of the Ministry of Health, the Elderly and Community Care in Valletta who will register the form and issue the necessary CERTIFICATE OF ENTITLEMENT.

Failure to obtain this form and the CERTIFICATE OF ENTITLEMENT will result in the person having to pay for any health care services that may be requires, as long as they continue to stay in Malta.

The Entitlement Unit can be contacted at:
24, St. John Street, Valletta CMR 02
Tel: +356.21224071;  Fax: +356.21230863
E-mail: entitlement.mhec@gov.mt

Goverment health care service

Primary health care

The Maltese Government delivers primary health care mainly through eight Health Centres that offer a full range of preventive, curative and rehabilitative services. The general practitioner and nursing services are supplemented by various specialised services, that include antenatal and postnatal clinics, Well Baby clinics, Gynae clinics, diabetes clinics, ophthalmic clinics, psychiatric clinics, podology (Podiatric) clinics, Physiotherapy, and Speech therapy and Language Pathology clinic. Community nursing and midwifery services are provided by the Malta Memorial District Nursing Association (MMDNA) on a contract basis.

The Government Health Centre system works side by side with a thriving private sector, and many residents opt for the services of private general practitioners and specialists who work in the primary care setting.

Secondary and tertiary care

Secondary care and tertiary care are provided from a number of public hospitals, the principal one being St Luke's Hospital which has around 850 beds. St Luke's provides a full range of secondary and tertiary medical services, including transplant surgery and open heart surgery. The average length of stay in a general medical ward at St Luke's is 6 days, while in a general surgical ward it is 5 days.

Another 58 beds are available at Sir Paul Boffa Hospital, which has an oncology and dermatology unit, 259 short / long stay beds are available at Gozo General Hospital. At Mount Carmel Hospital there are 563 psychiatric beds (short / long stay), while at Zammit Clapp Hospital there are 60 specialised geriatric beds.

The Government has embarked on the building of a new 850-bed teaching hospital next to the University which will succeed St Luke's Hospital in the provision of acute secondary and tertiary services.

There are three private hospitals, St Philip's Hospital, with a capacity of 75 beds, in Santa Venera, Capua Palace Hospital, with 80 beds, in Sliema and  St James Hospital with 13 beds in Zabbar.St Mark's Clinic with a capacity of 5 beds in Msida also offer private hospital services.

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