The island of Malta has a long history and tradition of healthcare. The first hospital established in medieval times by the Knights of St John was the largest in Europe and attracted patients from all over the region. Later, as a brave outpost of the British Empire, healthcare remained an important priority, and during the First World War Malta became known as “the nurse of the Mediterranean”.
The island has just built the largest hospital building programme in Europe, and now boasts state of the art equipment. All medical information is electronically processed, and the government hospital system is modelled on Britain’s NHS. The public health care system in Malta is funded through taxation and national insurance. It operates through public hospitals and health care centres. Health care in public services is generally free at the point of use. Persons living in Malta and covered by Maltese social security legislation are entitled to public health care services in accordance with entitlements as determined by the Ministry of Health. EU citizens resident in Malta are entitled to equivalent consideration. Their entitlement has to be confirmed and certified by the Entitlements' Unit within the Ministry of Health. This official certification together with a personal identification document will be enough to receive health care in public health care services.
Malta has a large number of doctors per head of population, and the island’s health services were recently ranked among the world’s top five nations, which is an incredible achievement for a small island. Among the many advantages are cost, climate and quality of aftercare
The island also has two small-scale private hospitals which are of 5 star standard; there is plenty of scope for expansion and Malta would be an ideal location for overseas companies wishing to invest in the healthcare sector.
There are no surgical procedures that cannot be accomplished in Malta, and interest from overseas patients at present centres on orthopedic, cardiac and plastic surgery. Malta is also beginning to expand its dental care market.
Malta Healthcare asserts that the island can treat up to 50,000 medical tourists a year. This includes all major cosmetic surgery such as breast augmentation, rhinoplasty, liposuction, dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, as well as orthopaedic surgery for knees, hips and cardiac surgery, laser eye surgery, physiotherapy and rehabilitation. In addition, Malta is well equipped to cater for the rising demand for non-invasive treatments such as Botox, chemical peels and dermatological fillers.
Malta has had a medical school for more than 500 years, and many of the islands' students travel to the UK to complete their training if they wish to specialise, returning to serve the patients of their community. Maltese surgeons are on the specialist register in the UK, and on the lists of the General Medical Council.
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