Health care


Country Report: Health care Last updated: 23/05/22


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Refugees have access to state medical services free of charge. They have equal rights compared with Maltese citizens and are, therefore, entitled to all the benefits and assistance to which Maltese citizens are entitled to under the Maltese Social Security Act,[1] as defined in the Procedural Regulations.[2] Access to medication and to non-core medical services is not always free of charge, in the same way as it is also not always free of charge for Maltese nationals. All low-income individuals may be given a Yellow Card to indicate entitlement to free medication. The main public mental health facility, Mount Carmel Hospital, also offers free mental health services to refugees.

Beneficiaries of subsidiary protection are only entitled to core medical services according to national legislation and guidelines provided by the authorities.[3] Beneficiaries have to lodge an application for Core Benefits at one of the Social Security branch offices. They are obliged to sign in once a week at the Social Security branch office on a fixed registration date.

The public health service provides interpreters on a roster basis. This service can be booked by anyone within the public health sector in order to aid a specific patient, although it appears that not all health professionals are aware of this support.[4]

In practice, specialised treatment for victims of torture or traumatised beneficiaries is not available. As no special referral system is in place, when officers come across someone who was tortured and is in need of assistance, they refer the individual to the mainstream mental health services and to the psychiatric hospital for in-depth support. Most cases are usually referred from the communities and are sent to polyclinics. Very few cases of victims of torture and violence have officially been noticed over the past few years.[5]

Beneficiaries of international protection who have their residence permit did not report facing any particular difficulties in getting the vaccine for the COVID-19. Those that did not dispose of a permit, usually would wait until they get it to get vaccinated, but it is not a requirement and the vaccine is accessible regardless.



[1] Social Security (U.N. Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees) Order, Subsidiary Legislation 318.16, 2001, available at:

[2] Regulation 20 Procedural Regulations.

[3] Regulation 20 Procedural Regulations.

[4] Nitktellmu, Refugee Integration Perspectives in Malta, December 2013, available at:

[5] Information provided by Ms Marika Podda Connor, Migrant Health Liaison Office, Primary Health Care Department, 2016.

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation