Healthcare in Malta
Healthcare in Malta is divided into public and private sectors, and has a reputation for offering high standards of care.
Residents are not obliged to take out health insurance and there is no specific national health insurance in Malta. All workers do, however, pay social security contributions that cover a variety of public welfare needs, including healthcare.
Maltese citizens and EU health card holders have access to free and subsidised healthcare, but most expats will likely need to take out private insurance.
Public healthcare in Malta
Public healthcare in Malta is provided at the level of public health centres (clinics) and hospitals. Since residents are assigned a clinic based on their place of residence, they generally have shorter waiting times and are a good option for less serious ailments.
Health centres provide services such as immunisation, gynaecology, physiotherapy and psychiatry, in addition to general practitioners and nurses.
While there are others, the main hospital in Malta is the Mater Dei Hospital, which is one of the biggest medical buildings in Europe. The Gozo General Hospital in Victoria is the main hospital on Gozo.
Private healthcare in Malta
Although the sector is small, private healthcare in Malta is accessible and holds high standards. Private hospitals offer the benefit of shorter waiting times and superior facilities, but these come at a price.
Private hospitals in Malta are, however, affordable when compared with other European countries and are especially popular with British patients who want to avoid NHS waiting lists.
Most foreign residents need private medical insurance which can either be taken out with a local insurance company or an international provider.
Pharmacies in Malta
Every village in the archipelago has at least one pharmacy, and many have more. Pharmacies in Malta dispense medication and provide the services of general practitioners, while some offer on-site specialists at certain times.
Most pharmacies are open from Monday to Friday from 9am to 1pm and 4pm to 7pm, and from 9am to 12pm on Saturdays.
Emergency services in Malta
The emergency number in Malta is 112. Calls are answered in Maltese and English, and the line can be used to contact various emergency services.