Malta’s medical tourism charter delayed

 

The Patient's Charter is the first of its kind in Malta and is an important step in promoting patients’ rights. The Ministry of Health published the charter in November 2016. 

The obligation to issue a charter was set out in the Health Act of 2013 and is linked to the transposition obligation within EU Directive 2011/24 on patients’ rights and cross-border health care. The document is set out in eight parts: health protection, access, information, participation and informed consent, privacy and confidentiality, dignity and respect, safe health care, and comments and complaints.

The charter proposes that if a predetermined maximum acceptable waiting time of 18 months is not respected, a patient has the right to seek healthcare through a local private healthcare provider or in another European country for state or private treatment, in accordance with the Maltese Cross-Border Healthcare Regulations, under the Health Act.

The Maltese government has in the past sent people overseas to Italy and the UK but this charter allows patients a free choice in any EU country.

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