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Your Guide to Malta and Gozo - Health Matters

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HEALTH MATTERS

 

 

mater dei hospital

Outbreaks of serious contagious disease are very rare in Malta and no special vaccination is required. A yellow fever vaccination certificate is mandatory for incoming visitors from sub-Saharan Africa and South American countries, however.

Water is perfectly safe to drink and meets all recommended safety parameters; however elevated levels of sodium and chloride impart to it an unpleasant taste, and many locals (understandably) prefer to drink bottled water which is widely available from supermarkets, groceries and convenience stores.

Mercury levels may soar to 35 oC and above especially during the hot summer months. As enticing as acquiring a sexy suntan may be, one is advised to avoid blatant exposure to the unforgiving Maltese sun from 10:00am to 4:00pm, in order to prevent possible severe sunstroke and dehydration. This is especially relevant to fair skinned people from northern latitudes, the very young and the elderly. The use of hats and sunscreen lotion with an SPF of 50 is recommended.

EU Citizens and nationals of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland should acquire a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) prior to travelling to Malta. This card entitles holders to the same medical benefits as the local population. You may contact the health authorities in your country in order to apply for this card.

Mater Dei officially took over from the old St. Luke’s Hospital on 29th June 2007, amidst much political wrangling. Touted by the health authorities as being a “state of the art” hospital, it offers a comprehensive range of health services provided by highly trained and dedicated professionals. If the undesirable happens during your stay (God forbid) and you need emergency treatment, you may call at the Hospital’s Admissions and Casualty Department. After your initial registration during which you will be requested to produce your identification documents, getting to Triage (affectionately known as “Door 1”) is pleasantly brisk; but deceive ye not! The wait which is likely to ensue following that is a real killer, and sometimes seemingly never ending unless you require an emergency heart transplant. If you need extended hospitalisation however, the service offered at Mater Dei is truly one of excellence!

For minor ailments such as a bruise or a cut, or perhaps a slight cough, admitting oneself to Mater Dei is emphatically advised against. In such cases, more than adequate medical care is provided at a number of (polyclinics) in Malta and Gozo. In this way, you would not only be sparing yourself the post-“Door 1” ordeal, but also freeing up vital resources at Mater Dei for real emergencies.