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Healthcare in Malta

Each country's health system is different and might not include all the things you would expect to get free of charge from the NHS. This means you may have to make a patient contribution to the cost of your care.

Visitors to Malta

Finding help in an emergency

If you find yourself in a serious, life-threatening emergency, you should call 112. This number is free of charge and is also for the police and fire brigade.

Be aware that if you ask a hotel or travel representative to call a doctor, you may be treated privately. If you wish to be treated under the state system you must call 112 and ask for an ambulance to take you to the nearest state hospital.

Emergency care is provided free of cost to everyone, even those without state health insurance.

Emergency treatment is offered at the emergency ward of all hospitals in Malta, and these are open throughout the year.

Healthcare up until the UK leaves the EU

The government always advises UK citizens to take out travel insurance when going overseas, both to EU and non-EU destinations.

Emergency medical care is provided to anyone requiring urgent attention. You can expect to be charged in full for any care provided without an EHIC (European Health Insurance Card). You should always buy enough travel insurance and make sure you have access to funding to cover any medical treatment abroad. 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 any refund.

Currently, your EHIC enables you to access the necessary state-provided healthcare in Malta at a reduced cost, or sometimes for free if you are staying there temporarily. If you are asked to pay for health services upfront, it is likely that you are not being treated under the state health system.

EHIC does not cover certain costs, including:

  • private treatment
  • being brought back to the UK
  • mountain rescue services
  • cruises

Be careful if healthcare arrangements are made by a hotel or travel representative. They might reassure visitors that they can claim back whatever is paid out, but they are referring to private insurance and not the treatment given under the EHIC.

Provisional replacement certificate (PRC)

A PRC is a certificate demonstrating a person's entitlement to EHIC. If you need healthcare but do not have your EHIC with you, you can call Overseas Healthcare Services and ask them to send a PRC to show to the hospital. This will avoid you being directly charged.

Contact Overseas Healthcare Services:

UK: 0191 218 1999
Outside UK: +44 191 218 1999

(Open Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm, UK time)

People with pre-existing health conditions

If you have a pre-existing health condition, you should buy medical travel insurance before visiting Malta. You must tell the insurance company about any pre-existing health conditions you have, to make sure you can get the cover you need. If you have an EHIC, this will be valid until the UK leaves the EU but may not work after that.

If you have a pre-existing condition that will need treatment while abroad, ask your doctor in the UK for advice before you travel. Make sure you take with you any documents about your health condition or medication.

If you are travelling for the express purpose of obtaining medical treatment, see our section about seeking medical treatment in Europe.

Hospitals

The Maltese healthcare system consists of both private and state healthcare.

The state healthcare system is funded through taxation and national insurance. Not all healthcare expenses are covered by the state system (for example, you will need to pay for your own prescriptions).

Mater Dei is Malta's main state hospital located in Msida. It is an acute general teaching hospital offering hospital and specialist services. There is also a general acute hospital on Gozo.

There are 8 government health centres in Malta and Gozo. These centres provide general practitioner and nursing services, as well as specialised health services such as immunisation, speech therapy, antenatal and postnatal clinics, and wound clinics.

Just like in the UK, you'll need to be referred by a doctor for any hospital treatment. Make sure you are referred to a state hospital as only these provide treatment free of charge. Even in a state hospital you will need a valid EHIC. Double check you are not treated as a private patient.

In the state healthcare system, you have the right to insist your EHIC is accepted. You do not have to provide travel insurance details unless you choose to do so.

Prescriptions

You will need to pay for your prescription and seek reimbursement from the national health system.

If you present a prescription within 3 days of discharge from hospital you do not need to pay, and you won't have to seek reimbursement.

There is at least one pharmacy present in each village.

When using your EHIC, people of working age are charged 50% and pensioners are charged about 10%. Pensioners will have to declare they receive a UK State Pension in order to pay the lower rate.

Bringing your own medicines to Malta

Some prescribed medicines contain drugs that are controlled under the Misuse of Drugs legislation in the UK. This means that extra legal controls apply to these medicines.

You may need a personal licence to take controlled medicines abroad.

Specific requirements also apply to:

  • the information that you must take with you
  • how you carry your controlled medicines

You can visit the GOV.UK website for more information about travelling with controlled medicines.

After the UK leaves the EU

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, your access to healthcare when visiting Malta is likely to change. If you are planning to visit Malta after the UK leaves the EU, you should continue to buy travel insurance so you can get the healthcare treatment you need, just as you would if visiting a non-EU country. If you are using an EHIC issued by the UK, this will still be valid until the UK leaves the EU.

The UK government is seeking agreements with countries, including Malta, on healthcare arrangements for UK nationals after the UK leaves the EU.

This guide will be updated with further information on travelling to Malta as the circumstances change.

Working in Malta

Healthcare up until the UK leaves the EU

EHIC does not cover residency of over 90 days in Malta, therefore, UK nationals living and/or working in Malta must follow the registration process in order to access the same entitlements to healthcare as Maltese nationals.

If you reside in Malta you must register for an RHA Entitlement Card at the Entitlement Unit for access to state non-emergency healthcare. To receive a RHA Entitlement Card you must:

  • contribute to the Social Security Act (national insurance); or
  • be exempt from contributing to the Social Security Act.

If you are a worker posted by a UK company to Malta, you may be entitled to health cover funded by the UK in the country you are posted to. Contact HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for more details:

National Insurance Contributions and Employer Office
HM Revenue and Customs
BX9 1AN
United Kingdom

  • Telephone: 0300 200 3500
  • Outside UK: +44 191 203 7010

Opening times: 8.30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday – closed weekends and bank holidays.

For more information, see Planning your healthcare when moving abroad.

After the UK leaves the EU

If you are a UK posted worker, you may need to buy additional healthcare insurance in Malta so you can receive the healthcare treatment you need.

You must obtain a permit to work in Malta, the granting of which is dependent on the market in Malta. Once an employment permit is granted, you will also be given the right to reside in Malta.

You can also apply for an employment and residence permit if you intend to open a business in Malta provided certain criteria are met – this includes a minimum investment of €100,000.

Pensioners in Malta

Healthcare up until the UK leaves the EU

If you live in Malta and receive an exportable UK pension, contribution-based Employment Support Allowance or another exportable benefit, you may be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK. You will need to apply for a certificate of entitlement known as an S1 certificate.

You may need to liaise with a different team, depending on the exportable benefit. Further information is available under Claiming benefits if you live, move or travel abroad on the GOV.UK website. Please note that different exportable benefits can have different rules in terms of healthcare cover.

S1 certificate (formerly known as E106)

An S1 certificate helps you and your dependents access healthcare in Malta. If you have an S1 certificate, it will be valid until the UK leaves the EU.

After this date, the certificate may not be valid, depending on decisions by member states.

You should continue to apply for an S1 certificate until the UK leaves the EU.

You may be eligible for an S1 certificate, if you:

  • have worked and paid contributions in the UK
  • receive some UK benefits such as pensions

Apply through the Business Services Authority for an S1 certificate. For exportable UK pensions and contribution-based Employment Support Allowance, you can apply for your certificate via the International Pension Centre in the Department for Work and Pensions on 0191 218 7777.

Further information is available under Claiming benefits if you live, move or travel abroad on the GOV.UK website. Please note that different exportable benefits can have different rules in terms of healthcare cover.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides information about what UK and Maltese benefits are available to Britons living in Malta and information on driving regulations in Malta.

After the UK leaves the EU

Third country nationals who live in Malta for more than 6 months a year can apply for ordinary residence; approval of which is at the discretion of the authorities.

Third country nationals can apply for long-term residence if they have been legally residing in Malta for 5 continuous years. Applicants must not have left Malta for more than 6 consecutive months in any given year of the said 5-year period and must not have been away for more than a total of 10 months throughout this 5-year period. Application requirements for a long-term residence permit are set out on the government's integration website.

Malta also offers a number of residence programmes for third country nationals and their staff with differing tax consequences.

Students in Malta

If you are a UK resident and studying in Malta, and you have an EHIC (European Health Insurance Card), this will be valid until the UK leaves the EU.

You should continue to buy insurance to cover your healthcare, as you would if you were visiting a non-EU country after the UK leaves the EU.

Students may apply for a residence permit if they will be studying in Malta. Legal guardians can simultaneously apply for a residency permit to accompany that student if they are underage. To accompany a student as a guardian, the guardian needs to prove they have a regular and stable income.

Page last reviewed: 28 January 2019
Next review due: 28 January 2022