|Malta Medical Students' Association (MMSA)|
|Participating cities (LC's)|| Pieta
Msida / Tal-Qroqq
Valletta / Floriana
|Languages||Maltese and English|
|Currency (how much is a Bigmac?)||Euro (€ ) and Bigmac on it’s own is €3 but as a whole meal €5.50|
|Time zone||CET / GMT +1|
|Number of Doctors and beds per 1000 people||Varies by department / ward|
|Member of IFMSA since...||1951|
|Number of incoming students per year||70 – 80 (Approximately)|
|Who are our NEO's||Tara Giacchino (NEO.NORE - Incomings) & Kelly Gatt (NEO.NORE - Outgoings)|
|Our official website||www.mmsa.org.mt|
- 1 Welcome Note
- 2 Our Health Care System
- 3 The Hospitals
- 4 Our Medical Education
- 5 Cultural Differences
- 6 Accommodation & Boarding
- 7 Social Programme
- 8 Local & National Transportation
- 9 Weather
- 10 Social Life
- 11 Exchange Conditions
- 12 Required Documents and Food
- 13 Unilaterals
- 14 Rules
- 15 Feedback
- 16 Hospitals offered for Exchange
First of all, a big warm Maltese welcome IFMSA students to the MMSA Exchanges programme! I guarantee that the month you spend here in Malta will be an unforgettable experience; one you will truly enjoy both on an academic and social level.
This section of the wiki will give a basic overview of the exchange experience in Malta, what makes you eligible to apply, what it entails, information about food and accommodation as well as how to make the best out of your time on the Maltese Islands. Most of your questions will be answered in our Exchanges section on the MMSA website –http://exchanges.mmsa.org.mt , so don't forget to check it out!For more information, please do not hesitate to contact our National Exchange Officer and National Officer on Research Exchange on firstname.lastname@example.org
More information about Malta can be found at:
Our Health Care System
Malta has both a public healthcare system, known as the government healthcare service, and a private healthcare system.
Malta was ranked number 5 in the World Health Organization's ranking of the world's health systems.
Healthcare is free at the point of delivery. Malta has a strong general practitioner-delivered primary care base, supplemented by secondary care and tertiary care provided by a number of public hospitals. The recently completed Mater Dei Hospital is one of the largest medical buildings in Europe. There is both a medical school and a dental school at Mater Dei Hospital which are part of the University of Malta, as well as a nursing school.
Mater Dei Hospital is Malta’s new general hospital, which opened in November 2007. It is situated next to the University of Malta. All various specialities are offered at this hospital except Dermatology and Oncology (Sir Paul Boffa Hospital situated in Floriana) and Geriatrics (Karen Grech Hospital situated at the old hospital location, St. Luke’s Hospital in Pieta, and Żammit Clapp Hospital, situated in St. Julian's).
Saint Luke's Hospital offers the speciality of Geriatrics under the tutorage of one of our best geriatric specialists.
Sir Paul Boffa Hospital offers the specialities of Dermatology and Oncology.
The clerkship is from Monday to Friday from 08.00hrs till 14.00hrs. These times vary according to the schedule of the consultant you are assigned to.
On their first day, students will need to go to the Administration office in order to collect their access card which allows them to enter most areas in the hospital and have access to the staff canteen. The card must be displayed at all times and returned to the NEO/NORE at the end of the exchange. A small fee might have to be paid for this access card.
There is a dress code at the hospital. Students cannot wear shorts, jeans or sandals but are requested to come dressed in shirts, trousers and closed shoes. You do not need to wear a tie. Women cannot wear short skirts or low cut tops. Piercings and long items of jewellery should be removed before entering hospital. Tattoos shall be appropriately covered so as not to be visible.
Please attend your ward rounds, even if you go out the night before and arrive home late. We cannot have any complaints from the consultants because we may have to cancel your exchange. English is the working language used during clerkship, if your doctor happens to continuously speak in Maltese please draw his/her attention about this. They are used to working with foreigners so don’t worry about the language.
Keep in mind that you MUST attend 80% of the one month exchange duration in order to receive a certificate.
Feel free to make use of the Health Sciences library which also offers free internet and Wi-Fi.
Our Medical Education
The medical course in Malta is a 5 year course. The first 2 years are pre-clinical years where Anatomy, Physiology, Biochemistry and Genetics are studied and the last 3 years are clinical years are spent studying Medicine, Surgery, Pharmacology, Pathology, the various specialities including Paediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Orthopaedics, Ophthalmology, Ear, Nose and Throat Surgery, Dermatology, Anaesthesia and Psychiatry, as well as Public Health, Family Medicine and Behavioural Sciences.
Exams are held in November, January and May and are a combination of written and oral examinations.
The culture of Malta is a reflection of various cultures that have come into contact with the Maltese Islands throughout the centuries, including neighbouring Mediterranean cultures, and the cultures of the nations that ruled Malta for long periods of time prior to its independence in 1964.
The Majority of the Maltese are Roman Catholic, but other religious denominations are also represented. There are small Anglican, Church of Scotland, Greek Orthodox, Jewish, Methodists and Muslim communities.
Accommodation & Boarding
Students are accommodated in self-catering flats situated close to Mater Dei Hospital in Msida, Swatar, Sliema and San Ġwann. Most flats are within 15 minutes walking distance from the hospital or just a bus ride away.
The flats can accommodate between 4 to 8 students each and most bedrooms are shared. Males and females may share the same bedroom. Please specify if you have problems with this.
The flats have showers, toilets, a washing machine and a living/kitchen area and most also have internet access.
Students will have to bring their own bed sheets, pillow cases and towels.
Water and electricity are free but gas tanks for the cooker must be bought by the students.
Students will not be able to stay in the flat before or after the month they are assigned due to other incoming students. However, we might be able to arrange for an extra day or two.
Students are picked up from the airport by one of our contact people and taken to their flat free-of-charge. Students must find their own way back to the airport on their departure day, either by bus or taxi.
Each student will have a set of keys for the flat.
Students are required to pay a refundable fee of €35 for breakages. This has to be paid by everyone upon arrival. The exchange will be cancelled if the fee is not paid.
The Social Programme includes several places and activities around the Maltese islands. The Social Programme is only for students who come in the summer months. You will need to take money for transport, boat trips and food. With regards to entrance fees to certain places such as Museums and the Temples, students who carry an international student card such as ISIC(www.isic.org ) or EURO<26(www.euro26.org ) get a discount;usually half-price.
Your contact person or persons will accompany you to most of these places and will book any transport necessary for you. There are plenty of places you may wish to visit at your own leisure, especially Valletta and the various beaches around the island. Information about public transport in Malta can be found here: http://www.arriva.com.mt/home?l=1
Below is a list of visits and activities we include:
Wine and Beer festivals
Tour of Gozo
Trip to Comino
Traditional Maltese meal at a restaurant
Birgu (Vittoriosa) by night
Marsaxlokk fish market
International Food and Drinks Night
A very good interactive Map of Malta and Gozo, showing the airport, hospital location and all places of interest can be viewed on http://www.visitmalta.com
Local & National Transportation
Buses are the primary method of public transport for the islands, which offer a cheap and frequent service to many parts of Malta and Gozo. The vast majority of buses on Malta depart from a large circular terminus in Valletta.
A frequent daily passenger and car ferry service runs between the islands of Malta and Gozo between Ċirkewwa Harbour and Mġarr Harbour.
There is also a ferry terminal at the Grand Harbour that connects Malta to Pozzallo & Catania in Sicily.
A seaplane service operated by HarbourAir Malta flies daily scheduled flights between the Grand Harbour in Valletta and Mġarr Harbour in Gozo.
The Malta International Airport is the only airport serving the Maltese Islands.
The climate is Mediterranean, with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers. There is no real thermal dormant season for plants, although plant growth can be checked briefly by abnormal cold in winter (patches of ground frost may occur in inland locales), and summer heat and aridity may cause vegetation to wilt. Effectively there are only two seasons, which makes the islands attractive for tourists, especially during the drier months. However, strong winds can make Malta feel cold during the springtime.
Water supply poses a problem on Malta, as the summer is both rainless and the time of greatest water use, and the winter rainfall often falls as heavy showers running off to the sea rather than soaking into the ground. Malta depends on underground reserves of fresh water, drawn through a system of water tunnels called the Ta' Kandja galleries, which average about 97m below surface and extend like the spokes of a wheel. In the galleries in Malta's porous limestone, fresh water lies in a lens upon brine. More than half the potable water of Malta is produced by desalination, which creates further issues of fossil fuel use and pollution.
The lowest temperature ever recorded at Valletta was on February 19, 1895, with 1.2 °C (34.2 °F), and the highest temperature was 43.8 °C (110.8 °F) recorded in August 1999 at Luqa International Airport. An unofficial lowest temperature of −1.7 °C (28.9 °F) was recorded on February 1, 1962 in the Ta' Qali airfield with snow on the ground.
Snow is virtually unheard of, with very few and brief snow flurries recorded in February 1895, January 1905 and January 31st, 1962. No accumulation has been reported on the coast at least since 1800, but on the last day of January 1962 snow briefly covered some parts of the interior of the main island. The following night the only frost in the history of Malta was recorded in the Ta' Qali airfield.
There are several discos/nightclubs, bars, wine bars and restaurants all over Malta and Gozo. The St.Julians/Paceville/Sliema area hosts the majority of discos/nightclubs and bars but bars/pubs/wine bars and restaurants can be found everywhere.
Required Documents and Food
First of all it is important that you include the following documents with your Application Form and uploaded on the database. A soft copy of the documents should also be sent to email@example.com.
A. 3 passport size photos. B. A copy of the Health Insurance (needed only for non-EU members as the EU health card is accepted for EU members). C. The English Language Certificate (http://mmsa.org.mt/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/English-Certificate.pdf) D. Proof of University Enrolment. E. Health Form (http://mmsa.org.mt/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/MMSA-Malta-SCOPE-SCORE-Health-Form.pdf - it must be received by the NEO-In 5 weeks before the start of the exchange or else the exchange may be subject to cancellation).
IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT THE HEALTH FORM
Prior to coming to Malta please make sure that your Health Forms are properly filled-in, as otherwise you won’t be able to go to the Department of your choice or you will need to fill in a Liability Form (i.e. for example if you are not immunised against a certain illness you will need to sign a liability form stating that it will be your responsibility if you contract that particular disease and not the hospital).
Please make sure you are immunised against Hepatitis B. This includes being vaccinated against Hep B and proof of your immunisation, i.e. an antibody titre of >100mIU/mL is required.
The results of a Chest X-Ray taken within the last year or a Mantoux test are also required. If the Mantoux test is negative, then it is implied that you are vaccinated with the Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine. This is to protect you against TB during your stay in Malta.
Rubella is required only by females. The results of antibody level to Rubella (IgM & IgG titre) must be submitted.
MRSA tests should be taken within 2 months before the commencement of the exchange. This means that if you are coming in August, the earliest you can take the test is in June. MRSA tests are compulsory!
For Varicella, you must show that you have either contracted it in the past or else the laboratory IgG results are required.
These tests are required for YOUR OWN protection, so please make sure that you comply! Please include proof of the test results to back up the ones you mention on the Health Form! Ideally the results are sent to us in English, I am aware that this is not always possible, so in that case they MUST be translated by you into English.
Extra documents for Research students
1. A Motivation letter: for each of the three projects chosen, stating why you want to take part in the particular research programme. The motivation letter should include only the reasons why the student has chosen the project, the aim and your knowledge in the particular field. The Motivation letter should not include any cultural interest or any other interest of the student for coming to Malta. A good Motivation letter would determine if the student is accepted or not in a particular project. Please note that certain projects require that you have already had lab experience.
2. Letter of recommendation
Things to bring with you:
1. Towels, bed sheets and pillow cases
2. Smart clothes for hospital (NO JEANS OR FLIP FLOPS!)
5. Shoes for operating and endoscopy theatres
6. Hard copy of the documents mentioned above
7. We have three pin sockets (like the UK) so please bring an adaptor with you.
One meal per day is provided for bilaterals only, usually from Mater Dei Canteen. Food for other meals must be bought by students at local supermarkets or food stores at students’ expense.
The cost for this exchange is:
€400 for July and August respectively;
€300 for September;
€250 for other months.
The above cost includes:
Pickup from the airport on arrival;
Lodging in the MMSA’s apartments;
Water and electricity consumption;
An assigned consultant (professor);
A certificate awarded on completion of the Unilateral Exchange.
Payments are to be made by bank transfer to the following account at least 4 weeks before arrival in Malta. Please note that the bank charges must be incurred by you and NOT the MMSA; any charges levied at our end would be charged to you on arrival. Please also make sure that the bank quotes your ‘name’, ‘country’ and the purpose ‘MMSA Unilateral Exchange’ when affecting the transfer. Beneficiary’s address: MMSA, University of Malta Medical School, Block A, Level 0, Mater Dei Hospital, Tal-Qroqq, Msida MSD2090 – MALTA Account name: M M S A Account number: 14906799029 IBAN number: MT95VALL22013000000014906799029 Beneficiary’s bank: Bank of Valletta Beneficiary’s bank address: Bank of Valletta, University of Malta Branch, Tal- Qroqq, Malta Swift Code/ banks BIC: vallmtmt Also kindly provide us with a soft copy of the Bank Transfer Receipt via email on firstname.lastname@example.org
Do not hesitate to contact the Finance Officer on email@example.com should you have any queries about payment. Any queries relating to other issues are to be addressed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Students are allowed to come to Malta only during one full calendar month, no mid-months accepted. There are no clerkships available in May or June.
2. The confirmation form and the flight details should be sent to the NEO-NORE with your date and time of arrival and departure 4 weeks before the start of the exchange or else you cannot be picked up from the airport on arrival. Students need to be able to speak and understand English and provide proof of their fluency in English.
3. Students must attend hospital Monday to Friday. If a student is going to take a day off, he/she must inform the tutor beforehand. However, to receive your certificate at the end of the exchange, he/she must have attended 80% of the clerkship/research exchange.
4. Students will be assigned to a consultant and his firm for the exchange period and the student cannot change the department once the exchange has begun.
5. The NEO-NORE should be notified of cancellations at least 5 weeks before the start of the exchange.
6. Friends or family may visit students in Malta but they cannot stay at the students’ accommodation and it must not interfere with the students’ clerkship at hospital.
7. Accommodation given cannot be changed during the clerkship.
8. Cancellations after payment are not refundable if the cancellation is made by the student.
9. The NEO-NORE reserves the right to cancel any clerkship if it receives any complaints of misconduct or unethical practice both in hospital as well as at the lodgings. The students responsible for such acts are held liable for any damage incurred during the clerkship.
10. The Malta Medical Students’ Association (MMSA) is not liable for the loss or damage of any student’s property or person.
11. Students must fill in their IFMSA Evaluation Form before receiving their certificate.
12. Students who need a VISA to enter Malta can apply for it at any Maltese, Italian or Austrian embassy since Malta is now part of Schengen. However, if a students’ VISA is denied there is nothing the MMSA can do. Check VISA requirements at the link provided below: http://www.foreign.gov.mt/pages/main.asp?sec=83 Always request Invitation Letters from the MMSA in advance.
13. STUDENTS MUST HAVE THEIR SCOPE-HANDBOOK, AND FILL IT IN DURING THE CLERKSHIP! STUDENTS FAILING TO FILL IN THE HANDBOOK WILL NOT RECEIVE THE EXCHANGE CERTIFICATE!
14. Those non-EU students who may need to exchange money should kindly contact NEO/NORE as the MMSA has an advantageous agreement with Fexserv Financial Services (http://www.fexserv.com/). ATMS are also available at Mater Dei and on Campus.
Extra Rules for Research students
1. The projects are allocated to the student according to availability and according to the student’s motivation letter. Motivation letters determine whether or not the student is accepted. All projects require that students already have had experience in the field of their choice.
2. Since the tutors do not sign any contracts to take on students, they can decide not to take students; therefore the projects allocated can change at the last moment. The student is immediately notified and another project is found which is as similar as possible to the one the student had previously chosen. If unfortunately no project is found, the student would be asked to postpone his/her exchange for the following month or year. In Malta, tutors are not to carry out such month sessions and therefore they take on students out of their own free will.
3. If a particular month is full up, the student is asked whether he/she can change the month they had chosen, if they cannot change the month of their research exchange, there can be substitutions with other students that can come on the month that is available or else postpone the research to the following year.
4. Project title may vary a little, since this depends on the research the tutor is doing at that particular time. Usually the research of the tutor is on the same area.
Feedback about the exchange is collected via the AF evaluation forms on the ifmsa.net database so it is important for the students to fill in the evaluation accordingly after their exchange.