Malta has one of the best health services in the world and all EU nationals resident in Malta are eligible to receive free medical treatment at government-funded hospitals and clinics, though it may be necessary to produce your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). The main general hospital is the state-of-the-art Mater Dei Hospital in Msida, while most towns and villages have their own medical clinics. While free health care is available for EU Nationals, the Maltese Ministry of Health advises all foreign residents to take out private medical insurance to ensure they are covered. In addition to the public health service, Malta has several private hospitals located around the island.
Education and Schools
The children of expatriates living in Malta can be educated in one of the private international schools or enrolled in the local state, church or independent schools. The local school system is based on the British model and provides an excellent standard of education. Education is compulsory between the ages of 5 and 16.
Kindergarten facilities are also available, free of charge, for all children aged between three and five. Tertiary education is offered through the University of Malta, the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) and numerous private colleges affiliated to British, US or European universities and educational institutions.
Leisure, Entertainment and Sports
Waters sports are extremely popular in Malta, where the climate and sea conditions are perfect for year round activity. There are excellent conditions for scuba diving and snorkelling, particularly as the sea temperature never drops below 13 degrees C (55 degrees F), even in winter. The best sites are on the northern coast of Malta.
There are also a number of highly popular spectator sports, including national water polo competitions, horse-racing, day pigeon shooting and football. Malta has one golf course, located at the Royal Malta Golf Club, which is adjacent to the Marsa Sports and Country Club, on the road to the airport from Valletta.
There is a wide range of festivals celebrated in Malta. In addition, every town or village in Malta celebrates the feast of its patron saint with a big outdoor festival that often includes processions, band marches, fireworks, bare-back horse riding through the streets, singing and dancing.
Sliema, St Julian’s, Valletta and Hamrun provide the best shopping in Malta, with both stand-alone boutiques and retail outlets and shopping malls being available. International brands are widely available. While there are few designer-clothes outlets on the island, most major European high street clothing brands are present in Malta. Shops usually open from 9 am – 1 pm and 4 pm – 7 pm and most are closed on Sundays, except for those located inside the Bay Street Shopping Centre in St. Julian’s, and some outlets in busy tourist resorts such as Bugibba.