Health care system Malta – Impressively cheap and still leading the world?
The Maltese health system or national insurance interlocks few institutions and players. They ensure:
- Free medical care for every resident
- Public hospital and acute treatments free of charge
- Persons with low income are exempt from co-payments
- Ten health centers for primary care and emergencies
The state exerts a great deal of influence on the British-style health care system. The health care system is average by European standards, and amazing for one of the smallest countries in Europe.
How Malta’s health care system works?
National Insurance combines health insurance and pension payments. The medical and health care is supported by ten Health Centers (HCs). They provide as treatments, prevention and early intervention. The Health Centers are complemented by doctors’ offices, hospitals and specialized clinics.
- Ten Health Centers
- More than 20 community clinics
- Three centers of excellence for primary eye screening, speech, language pathology and podiatry
- National screening center for breast, colon and cervical screening programs
- Public and private hospitals, clinics, and other facilities
Supplemental medical services, such as dental services or assistive devices, are not a benefit of the free health care system. Treatment in a private hospital is not covered by social health insurance. For non-covered areas, you either need supplemental health insurance or pay for the services yourself. Innovative employers offer private supplementary insurance as part of the salary at the latest after the probationary period.
All private health and care facilities require a permit from the health authority. Medical practitioners in Malta are allowed to practice in both public and private health care facilities at the same time. Doctors in public hospitals, health centers and social health care are hired by the government.
How do vacations obtain medical care in Malta?
Upon presentation of a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), you can receive urgent or medically necessary care during your temporary stay in Malta. The EHIC gives you access to public health services.
For questions regarding your health care during your stay in Malta, please contact:
Financing of the health care system in Malta
The social benefit system and thus the public health care system in Malta are financed by tax money and contributions from employers, employees and self-employed persons. The contributions of employees (dependent employees) are divided equally between the employer and the employee. The amount of the contribution depends on income. The Ministry of Health is responsible for financing and providing public health services. Deficits are made up by the Maltese government. Health care in Malta dates back to 1372, when the first hospital was opened in Malta. The Order of Malta, the Knights of St. John, developed it steadily since the 16th century.
Department for Policy in Health – Health Care Funding
St Luke’s Hospital
G’Mangia PTA 1010
Telefon: +356 2595 2400
E-Mail: [email protected]
Financing of the healthcare system in Malta
The social benefits system and thus the public health care system in Malta is financed by tax money and contributions from employers, employees, and self-employed persons. The contributions of employees (dependent employees) are divided equally between the employer and the employee. The amount of the contribution depends on income. The Ministry of Health is responsible for financing and providing public health services. Deficits are made up of the Maltese government. Health care in Malta dates back to 1372 when the first hospital was opened in Malta. The Order of Malta, the Knights of St. John, developed steadily since the 16th century.
What services does Malta’s National Insurance provide?
This excerpt from the list of benefits is available to eligible individuals who are habitual residents of Malta. Low-income individuals and families are entitled to free medicines from a list of essential medicines, as well as certain medical aids.
Assistive devices, such as hearing aids or prosthetic limbs, are not covered by National Insurance.
Care – Long-term and part-time care
The term long-term care is not present in the Maltese Health Act. These community services include
- Community care services (Comm care)
- Nursing and care services
- Social care
- Dementia intervention team
- Night shelters
- Meals on wheels
- Craft services
- Home care and nursing services
- Care in assisted living facilities or long-term care facilities.
This service is used by seniors 60 years of age and older, as well as citizens with disability identification cards.
Chronic diseases on a list in the Social Security Act are treated with free medicines.
There is no charge for emergency dental care. General dental care is not part of the benefits package.
Electronic appointment, e-consultation
E-consultation allows Maltese nationals and foreigners to book an appointment for online consultation with a (general) practitioner from the comfort of their home/office. These consultations eliminate the need to visit the doctor’s office and one of the primary healthcare facilities. An e-consultation is possible when the patient does not need a face-to-face consultation or examination. Teleconsultations with a primary care physician can be for a variety of reasons. These include.
- Requests for or interpretation of blood tests,
- Discussion of simple x-rays,
- Advice on relevant health problems.
Electronic consultations are not intended for emergencies. If it is a life-threatening situation, call 112. For urgent (non-emergency) health issues, contact 0356 21 231 231 or 0356 21 222 444, the primary health care provider. Alternatively, visit one of the health centers. It takes a few minutes to fill out the online form. You will need your ID card, cell phone number, and email address.
Emergency Medical Care
Emergency medical services are available to eligible persons free of charge at public hospitals and the ten health centers. EU citizens with a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) receive the same benefits.
The web-based precept is paperless for free, medical products, narcotics, and psychotropic drugs. Prescriptions are issued by consultants and doctors.
State hospitals provide free care. Stays in private hospitals are paid for by the patient. Doctor’s appointments can be rescheduled electronically / online. You will receive a confirmation by e-mail. After about three days, you will receive a proposed appointment by e-mail and mail.
Massages are not covered by National Insurance.
An expectant mother is entitled to maternity benefits and paid maternity leave from the eighth month of pregnancy. The prerequisite is employment subject to insurance or self-employment with a weekly working time of at least eight hours. The lump-sum benefits are paid weekly for 14 weeks, regardless of income. After the birth of the child, at least six weeks of maternity leave are mandatory. Maternity benefits are paid in up to two instalments after the birth of the child. After the 14 weeks of maternity leave, employed or self-employed women receive four weeks of paid maternity leave from the state in the amount of EUR 181.08 per week.
For more information, contact:
Department of Social Security
38, Ordnance Street
Valletta VLT 1021
Drugs are free during hospitalization and the first three days after discharge from the hospital.
The Pharmacy of Your Choice (POYC) national program provides free medical products and related services. The Pharmacy of Your Choice program accepts online prescriptions (e-prescription system).
see prescription system
Sickness benefits for employees and self-employed persons are paid for an insurance period of 50 weeks. Sickness benefits are provided by National Insurance from the fourth day of incapacity for work. The duration of benefits is limited to 156 days per year. In the event of surgery or serious injury, the benefit period can be extended to 312 days. Up to 468 days of sick pay are paid within a two-year period. The amount paid out may not exceed the social security contributions paid by the insured. In the case of employees, the employer pays the difference between the agreed remuneration and the sickness benefit. The basis is the 6-day week.
Telephone and video diagnosis (Telemedicine 24/7)
Through Telemedicine 24/7 Client Support Center, patient medical information is converted into electronic records. The patient gives this information to Primary HealthCare’s Electronic Patient Record (EPR) system via telephone, video, or teleconference. It is available to medical professionals at the point of care in real-time.
Free vaccinations are provided to persons insured in Malta.
World of Malta Insider tip for employees posted to Malta:
If you are posted to Malta by your EU, EEA or Swiss employer based outside Malta (Posting of Workers Directive, (EC) 883/2004), Maltese social security legislation applies. The exception is made in the case of ordinary employment in several EU member states. If the social standard of the posting country is higher than in Malta, it is possible to conclude an exception agreement for the continuation of social security between your country and Malta. This arrangement applies within the EU, the EEA, and Switzerland. Thus, you have the possibility to choose the advantageous legislation of your country and Malta. Responsible is the
Ministry of Health – Health Policy Department
Telephone: +356 25952400
Email: [email protected]
Where are Malta’s hospitals located?
Malta has government and privately operated hospitals and clinics. The best known and perhaps the most modern is Mater Dei in Msida. In health facilities in Malta, visitors wear masks (Status 10/2022).
Mater Dei Hospital (MDH)
Triq Dun Karm, L-Imsida, MSD2090
Phone: +356 2545 0000
Gozo General Hospital (GGH)
Triq Id-Donaturi Tad-Demm, Victoria-Gozo
Phone: +356 23 446
Email: [email protected]
Mount Carmel Hospital (MCH)
Notabile Road, Attard, ATD 9033
Phone: +356 2141 5183 and +356 2330 0000
Email: [email protected]
Rehabilitation Karin Grech Hospital (RHKG)
Guardamangia Hill, Pietà PTA 1312
Phone: +356 2344 1000 and +356 2344 1002
Child Development Assessment Unit (CDAU)
Triq Dun Karm, L-Imsida, MSD2090
Phone: +356 2595 1770
For conditions and difficulties in children up to the age of 16 such as autism, global developmental difficulties, learning difficulties, ADHD or head injuries.
- DaVinci Health in Birkikara
- Saint James Eye Clinic in Birkikara
- Saint James Clinic, Burmarrad
- St. Luke’s Hospitalin Pieta
- The Royal Navy Hospital (RNH) in Mtarfa
- St. Thomas Hospital in Quormi
- Saint James Capua Hospital in Sliema
- Zammit Clapp Hospital in St. Julian’s
- Saint James Capua Hospital in Zetjun
World of Malta Insider Tip: What do you take with you to a Maltese hospital?
- Personal toiletries
- Hairbrush or comb
- Slippers and dressing gown
- Comfortable clothes (loose fitting)
- Books, magazines, toys
- Eyeglasses, contact lenses, dentures, and hearing aids (including protective containers)
- Existing medications, supplements, and vitamins
- Any relevant medical documents you have been provided with (lab results, x-rays, pre-operative test results)
- Health insurance documents (if applicable)
- A form of identification like identity card, passport or driving licence
The hospital provides like bathrobes, towels, soap, and shampoo.
The ten health centers of Malta at a glance
Please locate the health center (HCs) that serves your area of residence. These HCs (Ċentru tas-Saħħa in Maltese) are open 24 hours from Monday to Sunday.
Health Center Birkirkara
Triq Tumas Fenech, Birkirkara. BKR-2527
Phone: +356 2149 4960 and +356 2277 400
For persons residing in Birkirkara, Iklin, Lija und Balzan.
If B’Kara Health Centre closed, then go to the HC in Mosta.
Health Center Cospicua
Triq Ljun, Cospicua. BLM-1921
Phone: +356 2167 5492 und +356 2397 2000
For persons residing in Cospicua, Vittoriosa, Senglea, und Kalkara.
Health Center Floriana
Triq Frangisk Saver Fenech, Floriana,
Phone: +356 2124 3314 and +356 2568 0000
For persons residing in Pieta’, G’Mangia, Valletta, Floriana, Hamrun, Sta. Venera und Marsa.
Health Center Gzira
Triq il-Belveder, Gżira,
Phone: +356 2134 4766; +356 2133 7244 and +356 2260 9000
For persons residing in Msida, Ta’ Xbiex, Gzira, Sliema, Kappara, San Gwann, Taz-Zwejt, St. Julian’s, Swieqi, L-Ibrag, St. Andrew’s, Pembroke, High Ridge and Victoria Gardens.
Health Center Mosta
Pjazza Rotunda, Mosta
Phone: +356 2141 1065 und +356 2269 5000
For persons residing in Mosta, Naxxar, Gharghur, Mgarr, Ghajn Tuffieha, St. Paul’s Bay, Mellieha, Burmarrad, Bugibba, Qawra, Bahar ic-Caghaq, Madliena, Mriehel (part of), Fleur-de-lys, Salina, Xemxija, Manikata, Bidnija, Zebbiegh, Maghtab, Ta’Qali, Ghadira, Cirkewwa.
Health Center Paola
Pjazza A. De Paule, Paola
Phone: +356 2169 1314, +356 2169 1315, +356 2180 5157 and +356 2367 5000
For persons residing in Paola, Tarxien, Sta. Lucia, Birzebbuga, Zejtun, Marsaxlokk, Zabbar, Marsascala, Xghajra, Fgura, Gudja, Ghaxaq, Benghajsa.
Health Center Qormi
Triq il-Vitorja, Qormi
Phone: +356 2148 4450
For persons residing in Qormi, Zebbug, Mriehel (towards Qormi) und Siggiewi.
Health Center Rabat
Triq San Kataldu, Rabat
Phone: +356 2145 9082 und +356 2256 3000
For persons residing in Rabat, Mdina, Mtarfa, Dingli, Attard, Bahrija and Kuncizzjoni.
Hospital and Health Center Victoria (Gozo)
Triq Enrico Mizzi, Victoria
Phone: +356 2156 1600 and +356 2215 6820
For persons residing in Gozo and Comino.
Do you have general questions about health centers?
Primary HealthCare Customer Care: +356 2123 1231 and +356 2122 2444
A variety of community clinics support the HCs
General practitioners hold regular consultation hours at community clinics (CCs). Consultation hours are held in the morning, between Monday and Friday. The office hours are posted at the community clinics. Some community clinics have branch offices for better accessibility.
Cospicua Health Centre
Kalkara Community Clinic
Luigi Pisani Street
Phone: +356 2180 4500
Floriana Health Centre (und Hamrun)
Valletta Community Clinic
Old Theatre Street
Phone: +356 2167 2816
Hamrun Community Clinic
Daniel’s Shopping Mall
Telefon: +356 2326 8488
Gzira Health Centre (und Sliema, Ta' Xbiex)
Pieta Community Clinic
11, ‘Il-Pellikan’, K Mifsud Street
Phone: +356 2122 1433
Sliema Community Clinic
Sliema Local Council, Depiro Street
Telefon: +356 2133 7633
Ta’ Xbiex Community Clinic
Gzira Local Council, 283/1, Rue D’Argens
Telefon: +356 2134 1034
Kirkop Health Centre (und Zurrieq)
Safi Community Clinic
Safi Local Council, 40, ‘Dar il-Kunsill, School Street
Phone: +356 2168 9168
Zurrieq Community Clinic
105, Mattia Preti Street
Telefon: +356 2164 2470
Mosta Health Centre (Mellieha)
Mellieha Community Clinic –
Phone: +356 2152 2316
Paola Health Centre (Fgura, Ghaxaq, Gudja, Marsaskala, M'Xlokk, Tarxien, Zabbar, Zejtun)
Fgura Community Clinic
Anġlu u Marianna Camilleri Street
Phone: +356 2189 5285
Ghaxaq Community Clinic
68, Labour Avenue
+356 2180 0693
Gudja Community Clinic
20, William Baker Street
Telefon: +356 2169 6023
Marsaskala Community Clinic
Sant Anna Garden
Telefon: +356 2163 7636
M’Xlokk Community Clinic
Telefon: +356 23268480
St Lucia Community Clinic
Telefon: +356 2180 1003
Tarxien Community Clinic
St Carmel Street
Telefon: +356 21660500
Zabbar Community Clinic
Civic Centre, Triq ic-Cawsli
+356 2180 6330
Zejtun Community Clinic-
42, Mater Boni Consigli Street
Telefon: +356 2167 6816
Rabat Health Centre (Attard, Dingli,
Attard Community Clinic
Phone: +356 2143 6862
Dingli Community Clinic
76, Guze Ellul Mercer Street
Telefon: +356 2145 3113
Gozo - Victoria Health Centre
Phone: + 356 2215 6820
Triq J F De Chambray, GSM1051
Phone: +356 2156 1515
Triq il-Visitazzjoni, GRB1044
Phone: +356 2156 0556
Pjazza s-Salvatur, GSR1011
Phone: +356 2156 2040
Pjazza Orvieto, KCM1420
Phone: +356 2156 3666
Triq Prof Guze Aquilina, MXR1012
Phone: +356 2155 8755
Pjazza San Pietru u San Pawl, NDR1011
Phone: +356 2155 6424
Triq l-Isqof Mikiel Buttigieg, QLA1041
Phone: +356 2156 4551
Triq Sannat, SNT9020
Phone: +356 2155 6423
Triq id-Duluri, SLZ1261
Phone: +356 2156 3556
Vjal it-Tmienja ta’ Settembru, XRA9021
Phone: +356 2155 6426
Triq l-Indipendenza, XWK1026
Phone: +356 2155 6403
Pjazza l-Assunta, ZBB1240
Phone: +356 21556429
Where does the statement come from: Malta has one of the best healthcare systems in the world?
Don’t trust any statistic that you haven’t falsified yourself. A distinction must certainly be made between the perspective of the citizen and that of the economy. For many citizens, some of these perspectives are important when it comes to supply:
- Qualification of medical staff
- Adequate capacities (number of physicians and hospital beds)
- Waiting times at general practitioners and hospitals
- Level of care for the population (distance to medical facilities)
- Supply of medicines and medical aids
- Costs and co-payments
- Treatment success
- Patient’s rights
- Life expectancy
Simplified, he who heals is right. Economists and global health authorities pay additional or primary attention to financing and cost-effectiveness. Some studies pay attention to the cost of health care per capita and what the government ultimately has to pay in addition. So the expenditure per patient, per citizen, and what percentage is that of the gross national product? The question arises, how do Malta’s private hospitals find their way into the studies?
The former president of the World Medical Association, Professor Frank Ulrich Montgomery, announced the study of the World Population Report at the beginning of the millennium. There, he said, France, followed by Italy, San Marino, Andorra, and Malta were the best health systems. The U.S. News found Canada, Denmark, and Sweden followed by Norway as the best health systems in the world in 2020. The U.S. news and stock market network Bloomberg finds, according to Covid-19.
Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Israel, and Ireland are ahead of Australia and New Zealand.
Different studies prove everything and nothing
There are few long-term statistics and calculations that Malta leads the world in any one sub-area of health care. In the multitude of studies by the EU, WHO, World Bank or even OECD, with the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, Malta is found in the middle of the field worldwide and in the EU. In the GHS index of the end of 2021, Malta is ranked 83rd out of 195 countries. The WHO ranked Malta 11th for the first time after the COVID-19 pandemic, with a score of 81.7. This can be explained by the closure of the island during the pandemic and the high vaccination rate of over 90 percent. Whether the rank can be defended for several years without another pandemic? The World Population Review even downgrades Malta from 24th to 25th place in 2021.
In no long-term study does Malta rank among the world leaders in terms of all criteria. This statement seems to be an outsider’s opinion. However, it is true that Malta has one of the highest life expectancies in Europe, at over 82.5 years. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Malta’s healthcare system was one of the fastest and most efficient in the world. By ordering vaccines early, over 92 per cent of the Maltese population vaccinated themselves. As a result, the mortality rate due to Covid-19 deaths decreased only minimally in 2020 and 2021. Since life expectancy is essential to many studies, this will continue to provide positive momentum.
Conclusion on Malta’s National Insurance Health System
In the comparison of WHO, GHS, or other organizations, which is often mentioned without citing a source, for the leading role or exemplary function of Malta worldwide or Europe-wide, there is no sustainable evidence. However, it should be noted that many studies consider a healthcare system to be particularly valuable when as much as possible is privatized. This is because sponsors of studies, such as manufacturers of pharmaceuticals or medical equipment, then earn much profit.
From each statistic, individual points can be drawn in which Malta scores well.
- Free primary care
- High level of digitalization of the healthcare system
- Second-highest life expectancy among EU countries, among the top five in Europe
- Highest vaccination coverage and expeditious, voluntary Covid-19 vaccination in 2021
- A lower decline in mortality than in most other European countries during the COVID-19 pandemic
On the other hand, there are long waiting times, no coverage of dental treatment, and high co-payments for medical aids. This is because Malta spends less per capita on all healthcare functions than the EU average. The health care system is satisfactory to good for the majority of residents in Malta. Care for citizens is assured. The pharmaceutical industry, lobby groups, and privatization interests have not yet found a means to destroy the health care system from within.