Located off the coast of Italy in the Mediterranean Sea, the island of Malta is best known for the Maltese Cross associated with its name. You might find the countryside somewhat familiar, as it was the shooting location for the television series “Game of Thrones.” As both a popular tourist destination and a haven for expats, it is an ideal destination for all.
Close to mainland Europe, Malta is home to about 67,000 expats and counting. That is almost 15% of the country’s population, the largest proportion of any European country.
The nation is a member of the EU and has a dependable public healthcare system. However, if you move there, you would need to purchase expatriate health medical insurance for your protection and assurance. Here, we discuss the Maltese healthcare system in more detail.
Maltese Public Healthcare System: The Oldest in The World
Malta was the first nation in the world to have what we today call a hospital, first established in 1372 CE. Centuries have elapsed, but the administration is as vigilant about public health now as it was back then. The healthcare system in Malta is routinely ranked as better than the NHS in the UK, and the University of Malta has a teaching hospital that is recognized as one of the world’s finest.
Matar Dei, a state-of-the-art public hospital, is considered one of the best in the world. It was inaugurated in 2007 and is the most well-known facility in southern Europe.
Healthcare is entirely free for all residents of Malta. It is funded by weekly contributions to social security. Healthcare is also offered free of cost to those who have moved to Malta with a work visa.
The state funds treatment, hospitalizations, childbirth, and almost all medication. EU nationals are automatically eligible for every benefit with the EHIC card.
Maltese Healthcare System: Diminutive in Scale
Though the system is highly functional, it is also very small. There are two large general hospitals mentioned above and a smaller one at Gozo. Other than these, there is only the Sir Anthony Mamo Oncology hospital at Msida. The rest are mostly psychiatric care units and nursing homes.
This causes an inevitable bottleneck. There are long waiting times at public hospitals, and it can take months to consult a specialist. You would spend at least an entire day waiting for a consultation for an earache. This time commitment is hardly possible when handling a job that requires you to meet deadlines. And unlike locals, as an expat, you cannot dispatch family members at the crack of dawn to secure a place in the snaking line.
Maltese Private Healthcare System: A Dependable Alternative
With private expat health insurance, your options increase considerably. You can easily find treatment at private hospitals such as St. James and Da Vinci. The use of private hospitals is part of a growing trend throughout Europe as better alternatives for those who need quick treatment and therapy.
Of course, being private, they can't offer you free or subsidized services. But in return, you have a diagnosis and potential treatment options within a few hours. The cost can be easily met if you have expatriate medical insurance in Malta. Usually, you may not even have to pay directly. The insurer can settle the bill with the hospital.
Maltese Expatriate Health Insurance: Lifeline for Expats
When you buy expatriate health insurance, you have to keep some critical factors in mind. While health insurance is simply a matter of mitigating a significant expenditure by paying a proportionally smaller premium, several clauses are essential.
We have several recommendations for you that would help you buy the perfect policy.
- Geographical Spread: It is not worth it to buy a country-specific expat insurance plan. Since Malta is such a small island, you would likely be moving around—perhaps visiting the mainland for work or Dubai for pleasure. Would you want to have to buy a new insurance policy every time you board a plane or ferry? That is not feasible. For this reason, purchase a plan that applies to several nations. Your coverage options are worldwide; worldwide excluding the U.S.; worldwide excluding the U.S. and Canada; and worldwide excluding the U.S., Canada, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Singapore, and Taiwan.
- Coverage Needed: What do you really need to be covered for? Assess your health thoroughly. If you need dental care, it is best to fix it in your home country before you leave. If you are young and in good shape, you most likely won’t need critical illness coverage. Reducing the number of ailments your policy covers would save you a lot of funds in the long run. You could use the money you save to add riders that you would be more likely to need.
- Home Coverage: Every year, you would be traveling back home, perhaps several times a year. Is it worth it to pay for two separate domestic and international health insurance policies? Probably not—this is just more expense and more paperwork. Keep it simple, and buy one plan that covers you everywhere. This allows you to seamlessly travel between your country of origin and Malta without any trouble.
- Translation: The official language of Malta is Malti, a version of Italian. You would require the help of a translator to allow you to confer with the doctor and receive guidance. The test results have to be translated into English (or your native language) for you to understand them. A translation service is essential in a foreign land.
Be in Good Health with Expat Medical Insurance
Despite so many clauses and add-ons to figure out, there is very little difficulty in buying expatriate health insurance. Compare several policies from different insurers. Focus on buying what you need, and request the appropriate add-ons. Then you can purchase a plan knowing that it’s the best fit for your personal needs. Once you have your policy in hand, you can look forward to years working happily in sunny Malta.