You need to consult your doctor (general practitioner or specialist) to give you a proper advice about the required reviews (check-ups).
Yellow card (Schedule V) – A person who has a chronic condition may receive free medications under the Schedule V scheme. This is offered to persons who have one or more of the conditions. They must be referred to within the Government Health Service. The Schedule V card is issued from the Schedule V Office, St. Luke’s Hospital.
Pink Card (Schedule II) – A pink card holder is a person with limited means. S/he can have access to a limited number of medicinal products, which are specifically marked as pink card positive on the Government Formulary List.
For further information you can contact the:
Pharmacy Of Your Choice Unit / Medicines Approval Section
St Luke’s Square
Tel: 21232424 / 22481800
For Coeliac Patients (diagnosed as a coeliac by a specialist), there is the Gluten Free Dietary Items Voucher Scheme. A monthly voucher is issued to all patients with a valid Schedule V entitlement for coeliac disease.
For further assistance you may contact the:
POYC Unit/Medicine Approval Section
Tel: 21232424 / 22481800.
The government provides free transport service to and from state hospitals (by appointment). If used for the first time, your doctor needs to apply on your behalf. For further information ask your doctor.
- Malta Public Transport – buses are normally accessible for person using a wheelchair.
- There are various private companies/cooperatives which offer their transport service against a charge.
The patient’s charter establishes rights and responsibilities for all patients. Patients have the right to receive all the information about their condition, treatment being received and care options available. A patient has the right to ask about their condition and have access to information held in their own file and records. When mentally competent, a patient can refuse treatment or care, or withdraw consent to any diagnostic or treatment procedures, or to discharge oneself even against the physician’s advice. A patient has the right to receive care in a way that is respectful to their disability.
You can access the patient’s charter by using the following link:
Health is also covered as an area of discrimination under the Equal Opportunities Act. If you feel discriminated on in an area related to health, you can contact the Commission for the Rights of People with Disability.
More information can be obtained from:
The Commission for the Rights of Persons with Disability
G5 Office, Triq Psaila, Birkirkara
Tel: 22267600 / SMS only: 79788555
Sannat Primary School, Sannat Road, Sannat
You may only be admitted to a mental health hospital against your will if a specialist in psychiatry certifies that:
- You have a severe mental disorder.
- Due to the mental disorder, you are at serious risk of physical self-harm or harm to others, and
- If you are not admitted or kept in hospital your condition will likely get much worse or you may not be able to get the treatment you need.
- When it results from a medical examination that all the above conditions concur, an application for an involuntary admission for observation is made.
- In the situation of a need for an Involuntary Admission for observation, a responsible carer of your choice can sign the application on your behalf. The need for an admission needs to be verified and considered necessary by a doctor and this is agreed upon by a specialist in psychiatry following examination within 24 hours of the first examination.
- The Commissioner for Mental Health is notified of the Involuntary admission for observation and this is valid for a maximum of 10 days from admission.
- During a period of involuntary admission for observation you have legal rights through the mental health act.
- Through a Court order.
The law gives persons with mental health problems who are admitted to a mental health institution all the rights available to the rest of the members of society, including the right to information about their disorder, the right to give consent to any treatment or care, and the right to appoint a responsible carer of their choice. However, where the person lacks mental capacity to understand any information regarding his/her rights, the information is to be communicated to the responsible carer, and where the said person, due to his/her mental infirmity, is unable to appoint a responsible carer, the responsible carer will be the next of kin. In the absence of a responsible carer or if he/she refuses to sign admission but for medical reasons you need to be admitted involuntarily, a Mental Welfare Office (MWO) is called to assess you and if he/she agrees to your admission the MWO may sign for your admission. During the period of admission, a person with mental health problems shall have free and unrestricted communication with the outside world, provided that such freedom is not detrimental to the patient’s health and that of others.
The Commissioner for Mental Health was established by law (Act 525 Laws of Malta) to promote and safeguard the rights of persons with mental health problems, and their carers. The Commissioner also ensures that patients are not held in the licensed facility more than necessary. He/she reviews, grants and extends any orders for admission, and is empowered to investigate any complaint alleging breach of patients’ rights and to take any subsequent actions or make recommendations in order to protect the welfare of the patient.
Where a person is admitted to a mental health institution involuntarily, he/she shall initially be held for a period of observation of two hundred and forty hours (10 days). After the lapse of this period, the patient shall either be discharged, or detained as a voluntary patient, unless it is evident to the multidisciplinary team that the person requires treatment beyond the observation period and the patient still refuses treatment. In such instances, the Commissioner will, after having received an application from the health care professionals, interview the person if required and if necessary interview also members of the multidisciplinary team, and decide whether to approve or refuse the application.
A summary of the law may be accessed through The Mental Health Act: Your rights or L-Att dwar is-Saħħa Mental: Id-Drittijiet Tiegħek. A hard copy of this booklet may be requested by calling at the office and leaving your details or sending an email with your name and postal address.
More information can be obtained from:
The Commissioner for Mental Health
St Luke’s Square, Tal-Pietà
- General Practitioner (GP) is a physician who does not specialise in one particular area of medicine.
- Paediatrician is a medical professional who specialises in the medical care of infants, children, and adolescents.
- Psychiatrist is a physician who specialises in psychiatry, the branch of medicine devoted to the diagnosis, prevention, study, and treatment of mental disorders.
- Counselling Psychologist has a stronger focus on healthy individuals, who have fewer pathological mental problems.
- Clinical psychologist has a stronger focus on those with a psychosis or other serious mental illness.
- Educational psychologist helps children and young people improve all children’s experiences of learning; they assess difficulties children may be having with their learning.
- Counsellor is trained to give guidance on personal or psychological problems.
- Family therapist works with families and couples in intimate relationships to nurture change and development. It tends to view change in terms of the systems of interaction between family members.
- Social worker supports individuals and their families through difficult times and ensures that vulnerable people, including children and adults, are safeguarded from harm. Their role is to help in improve outcomes in people’s lives.
- Speech language pathologist/therapist assesses speech, language, cognitive-communication, and oral/feeding/swallowing skills to identify types of communication problems and the best way to treat them.
- Occupational therapist assesses and intervenes to develop, recover, or maintain the meaningful activities, or occupations, of individuals, groups, or communities.
- Physiotherapist helps patients with physical difficulties resulting from illness, injury, disability or ageing to improve their movement.
- Dietician and nutritionist counsel patients on nutrition issues. Dietitians and nutritionists are experts in the use of food and nutrition to promote health and manage disease.
- Ophthalmologist is a specialist in medical and surgical eye disease.
- Geneticist is a specialist in genes, heredity, and variation of organism.
- Endocrinologists treat people who suffer from hormonal imbalances, typically from glands in the endocrine system or certain types of cancers. They treat adrenal disorders, osteoporosis and bone health, diabetes, endocrine disorders in children (lack of growth, problems with puberty), heart problems (high cholesterol, triglycerides, high blood pressure), pituitary disorders, thyroid disorders, weight and metabolism, men’s health (infertility, testosterone levels), women’s health (menopause, infertility, some menstrual problems).
- Medical Council (Medical and dental professionals) – Tel: 21255540 / Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Council for Nurses & Midwives – Tel: 2595 3305 / Email: email@example.com
- Council for the Professions Complementary to Medicine (Acupuncturists, Audiologists, Chiropractors, Clinical Perfusionists, Dental Hygienists, Dental Technologists, Dietitians, Environmental Health Officers, Medical Laboratory Scientists, Nutritionists, Occupational Therapists, Optometrists, Orthoptists, Osteopaths, Physiotherapists, Podiatrists, Psychotherapists, Radiographers & Speech Language Pathologists) – Tel: 21255538, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Malta Social Work Profession Board (Social workers) – Tel: 25494300 / Email: email@example.com
- Malta Psychology Profession Board (Psychologists) – Tel: 2590 3281
- Council of the Counselling Profession – Tel: 2295900 / Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Malta Youth Work Profession Board – Tel: 25982864 / Email: email@example.com
If a professional has a complaint about another professional, the person can refer to the specific professional council. For further information you may contact the mentioned councils on the provided numbers.
Some people with intellectual disability may also experience mental illness but the two conditions are different.
- Intellectual disability – Thoughts are limited by cognitive ability and understanding. It is lifelong and will not diminish. The onset occurs before 18 years of age. Medication cannot restore cognitive ability. It is normally assessed by a psychologist.
- Mental health problem / illness – Disturbances in thought processes and perception. The person may experience hallucinations and delusions. The condition may be temporary, cyclical or episodic. Onset can occur at any stage of life; Medication can be prescribed to control the symptoms; It could be diagnosed by a psychiatrist or a psychologist.