The Maltese public healthcare system is funded by taxation and national insurance in a similar way to the NHS in England.
If you move to Malta, you will have to pay contributions to the national insurance system, which in return gives you access to public healthcare.
If you are just visiting Malta and need healthcare, you need to have a valid EHIC to receive free public healthcare. Note the EHIC does not cover private treatment.
Be careful if healthcare arrangements are made by hotel staff or a travel representative. You might be told that you can claim back whatever is paid out, but if you receive private treatment, you will only be able to claim back your costs if you have private medical insurance.
If you need to call out a doctor in an emergency and you want the free treatment available under the EHIC, make sure you ask for state-funded healthcare.
It's always advisable to have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation. Repatriation for medical treatment is not covered by the EHIC.
Remember to keep all receipts and any paperwork (make copies if necessary) as they might be needed by you or your insurance company to apply for a refund.
There are eight public health centres in Malta and Gozo. These centres provide general practitioner and nursing services, as well as specialised health services such as immunisation, speech and language therapy, antenatal and postnatal clinics, and wound clinics.
Find a public health centre.
You'll need a GP referral for any specialist or non-emergency hospital treatment.
The main public hospitals are the Mater Dei in Msida and the General Hospital in Gozo.
Acute emergency dental treatment is provided free of charge. However, you should seek a public hospital or health centre, as it is not widely available. Most dentists practise privately. Any costs incurred for private healthcare are not refundable under EHIC arrangements.
Any medication prescribed during inpatient treatment or for the first three days after you are discharged is free. You must show your EHIC. However, you will be charged in full for anything prescribed after this period. These charges are not refundable under EHIC arrangements.
If you have a condition that requires you to bring your own medicines to Malta, you should have a letter from you GP stating what the medicines are and why you need them.
If any of your medicines fall into the controlled drugs category, you need to comply with regulations on drugs exports in the UK.
Pharmacies are open during normal shopping hours. On Sundays, chemists open on a roster from 9am-12.30pm in Malta and from 7.30-11am in Gozo.