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Medical Tourism to Malta

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Overview

Malta has quite a long history of providing free public healthcare to its citizens. The country’s first hospital began operating in 1372. Modern-day Malta has both a public healthcare system (known locally as the government healthcare system), as well as a private healthcare system. Malta has a robust general practitioner-delivered primary care base and the public hospitals provide secondary levels of care. The Maltese Ministry of Health recommends that foreign residents to take out private medical insurance as a means of supplementation.

Malta Healthcare System

Despite its small size, Malta has some of the best healthcare offerings in the entire world. As previously mentioned, the healthcare system in Malta is separated into public and private sectors, but the majority of facilities and services are public and governmentally funded. Malta ranked number five in the World Health Organization’s ranking of the world’s healthcare systems in 2000. Compare this to the United States (ranked 37), Australia (ranked 32) and Canada (ranked 30). The healthcare system in Malta most closely resembles that in the UK because it is free at the point of delivery.

Thanks to Malta’s small size, it’s easy to access a hospital or other healthcare facility, no matter where you’re staying. Another claim to fame for Malta’s healthcare system comes from Numbeo’s independent study of European countries; in the study Malta’s healthcare system ranked second to France.

When traveling to Malta for medical services, it is advised to seek care in one of their private facilities rather than having the procedure done through a public hospital. Waiting times at the public institutions are quite long, and the private hospitals typically offer specialized services.

Malta does not have any hospitals accredited by the Join Commission International currently. Hospitals in Malta have verifying accrediting and regulatory bodies including Servizz. Servizz is an agency in Malta that brings all governmental services under one umbrella and bridges the public services of Malta with the public.

Top hospitals for medical tourism in Malta

  • Mater Dei Hospital: Mater Dei serves as Malta’s primary hospital. It first opened its doors in 2007 and it one of the largest medical buildings in all of Europe
  • St. James Hospital: Located in Sliema, Malta, St. James Hospital first opened its doors in 1985. This hospital strives to consistently provide excellent care through expertise, compassion, and technological innovations.
  • St. Thomas Hospital: One of Malta’s newest hospitals, St. Thomas Hospital has made a big impact in a short timeframe. The professionals at St. Thomas focus on getting patients in and out of their care as safely and quickly as possible. Only the top physicians and surgeons are hired at St. Thomas, giving patients peace of mind they won’t find at many other institutions around the globe.
  • Common treatments done by medical tourists in Malta

    • Orthopedic Surgery
    • Dental Work
    • Cosmetic Surgery
    • Blood Tests
    • Diagnostic Scans
    • Laser Hair Removal
    • Cardiac Surgery

    Cost of medical treatments in Malta

    The following are cost comparisons between Medical procedures in Malta and equivalent procedures in the United States:
    Medical Procedures
    Procedure US Hospitals Malta Average Savings
    Breast Augmentation (standard) $5,000-$10,000 $3,000 40% - 70%
    Root Canal $1,200 $75 93%
    Laser Hair Removal $430 $50 88%

    Malpractice and liability laws in Malta

    For a medical professional to incur legal responsibility in Malta, there must have been a breach of contractual obligation, which can be raised tacitly or implicitly, or else a breach of an obligation imposed by law. Doctors are required to follow he applicable standard of care not only when he/she impliedly agrees to do so, but also in view of the fact that the medical professional is obligate do so by law.

    Pros

    • Leading Medical Professionals

      As mentioned a few times in this write up, Malta has one of the most impressive and recognized healthcare systems in the entire world, ranking above the USA, Canada, and the UK.
    • Low Cost

      When compared to hospitals to the rest of the developed nations, Maltese hospitals rates and fees cannot be beat. One can expect to pay for their surgery and lodgings for the same cost it would take to cover only the surgery in the USA.
    • English is spoken by the general public

      Malta is an English speaking country. Even when locals communicate with each other, approximately 88% of them converse in English.

    Cons

    • Lack of JCI accreditations

      No JCI accredited hospitals on the entire island.
    • Travel

      Public Transportation in Malta leaves something to be desired. Buses rarely run on a consistent schedule due to the inefficient layout of the public roadways. Also, due to the inefficient road networks, travel times on public transportation can be excruciatingly long.
    • High Cost of Living

      The cost of ever day living (travel, rooms, food, etc.) is relatively high when compared to surrounding locations. Visitors need to check on rates before departure and plan accordingly.

    Traveling to Malta

    Average estimated travel time in hours
    From/To Malta
    New York 11
    Los Angeles 14
    Miami 12.25
    Toronto 11
    Paraguay 9
    Venezuela 9
    Bolivia 9
    Dubai 8
    Riyadh 9.5
    Kuwait 12
    London 3

    Entry and exit requirements to Malta

    Malta is a part of the Schengen Agreement. This means that those traveling to Malta may enter the country for up to 90 days over a period of 180 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa. Passport should be valid for at least three months beyond the visitor’s planned date of departure.

    Statistics for medical tourism in Malta

    Tourism is a vital component to Malt’s economy, contributing roughly 15% to the country’s gross domestic product. Since 2010, the Malta Tourism Authority has be marketing Malta as a destination for medical tourists. Marketing efforts have been focused on tourists residing in the UK followed by North Africa, the Middle East, Russia and North American. Malta gets well over 1 million tourists every year, and the Tourism Authority is hard at work to ensure that a large portion of those million people are there for medical purposes.

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