The drive towards digitisation in Malta

eHealth Week

The Republic of Malta holds the presidency of the Council of the European Union in the first half of 2017, and is as such hosting this year’s European eHealth Week. Malta embarked on a comprehensive eHealth journey a few years ago, and it will broaden its efforts considerably in the years to come, says the Maltese Minister of Health, Christopher Fearne. One of the highlights is a multi-functional patient portal, that has just been relaunched and extended.

Q. Can you give us a broad idea about the structure and financing model of the Maltese healthcare system?

The Maltese healthcare system has been developed over the last 50 years. It is essentially a tax-based system that is free of charge at the point of delivery, irrespective of it being primary, secondary, or tertiary care. We offer all available treatment options, and medication is free for most chronic disease patients. We don’t have a big healthcare system, obviously. Malta’s population is about 420,000. We have four acute care hospitals, one of them with over 1,000 beds, a number of smaller hospitals and outpatient clinics and health centres in the towns and villages.

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