Malta and Gozo boast a robust healthcare system. At the front of Malta’s healthcare landscape are its pharmacies. Playing a crucial role in ensuring the well-being of the population.
This article explores the various aspects of pharmacies in Malta and Gozo. Examining their regulations and services. Along with the integral part they play in the holistic healthcare experience.
Navigating Malta’s Healthcare Landscape
The evolution of Malta’s healthcare system is intertwined with its history. The Maltese islands were influenced by the Knights of St. John. Whose hospitaller and medical background left a significant mark. As medical knowledge advanced, pharmacies became a key part of Malta’s healthcare landscape. Their main mission being the procurement and dispensing of medicinal remedies.
Today, Malta’s healthcare system is modern and adapted to international standards. Pharmacies have integrated technological advancements. They are integral to providing primary healthcare services. With over 200 pharmacies located across the islands. The Maltese government prioritises access to medicines and healthcare advice.
A Comprehensive Look at Pharmacies in Malta
Every town and village across Malta and Gozo has a pharmacy. The busiest and popular towns have a few pharmacies scattered all over the locality. Finding a pharmacy close to your home or workplace is not an issue. You do not need to travel far! Pharmacies in Malta have a green cross sign. Hanging outside the shop to single them out from other retail outlets. The majority of the signs are illuminated.
Pharmacies in Malta open from Monday to Saturday. The majority of which open around 8 am or 8.30 am. Several pharmacies close for a few hours in the afternoon. Between 1 pm and 4 pm. To reopen from 4 pm till 7 pm. Though a couple of pharmacies do remain open all day. Note that as of late a few pharmacies started operating till 10 pm. On Saturdays not all pharmacies reopen in the afternoon. Various pharmacies open only during the morning.
On Sundays and Public Holidays, pharmacies open on a roster basis. Refer to the following link for a list of these pharmacies https://www.pharmacy.mt/roster/. The opening hours are from 9 am till noon. But in a few towns certain pharmacies open even on Sunday afternoon from 4 pm till 7 pm.
In the last few years Malta saw an increase in pharmacy chains. Such as Brown’s Pharmacy, Remedies Pharmacies, JV Pharma and Chemimart. By and large these are the most sought after community pharmacies. As these pharmacies provide a range of healthcare services.
Mater Dei Hospital operates a pharmacy that is open 24/7. A person who needs urgent medication can get supplies from the hospital’s pharmacy. The pharmacist provides the necessary medication till pharmacies open the next day.
Besides, in case of medical emergencies 3 healthcare centres are open 24/7. These are located in Floriana, Mosta and Paola.
Regulations and Licensing of Pharmacies in Malta
Pharmacies in Malta operate under strict regulations. To ensure the safety and well-being of the public. Pharmacies are regulated by the Medicine’s Authority. Routine inspections are carried out by the Authority. To ensure pharmacies are following best practices. The Medicines Act governs the distribution and sale of pharmaceutical products. Forming the responsibilities of pharmacists and the standards they must adhere to. Various subsidiary legislation regulates pharmacies further. Such as the licensing of pharmacies and prescription rules applicable to medicinal products. Too dangerous drugs rules and regulations.
To practise as a pharmacist in Malta, individuals must have a degree in pharmacy. Issued from a recognized institution. Along with fulfilling the registration requirements set by the Pharmacy Council. Continuous professional development is encouraged. To keep pharmacists abreast of the latest medical advancements. Thus ensuring the highest standards of patient care.
Regulated by stringent laws and manned by qualified professionals. Malta’s pharmacies play an important role in ensuring public health.
Services Offered by Pharmacies in Malta
Malta’s pharmacies go beyond the conventional role of dispensing medications. They are key hubs for healthcare information and community well-being.
Pharmacies in Malta offer a comprehensive range of services. Designed to provide complete healthcare solutions. Here is an in-depth review of the various services provided by pharmacies in Malta.
Pharmacies play a vital role in dispensing prescription medications. A pharmacist ensures that patients receive the right dosage. In line with the Doctor’s prescription. Pharmacists help customers understand the proper usage of their medications. Besides making them aware of any potential side effects. In Malta, no identification is required to collect prescribed medication. Note that each pharmaceutical product comes with an English information leaflet.
Pharmacies in Malta offer a wide range of over-the-counter medications. Allowing individuals to buy common remedies for minor ailments without a prescription. Pharmacists provide guidance on the appropriate use of these medications. Along with recommending suitable options based on the patient’s symptoms.
One of the most important services provided by local pharmacies is the attendance of a Doctor. General Practitioners attend pharmacies daily at specific times during the day. It could be during mornings or evenings only or both. A visit to the General Practitioner does not need an appointment. It is normal to wait in a queue. Waiting times depend on the people in attendance. The fee per visit ranges between €15 to €20.
Several pharmacies, in particular pharmacy chains, have various specialist practitioners in attendance. Such as Psychiatrist, Dermatologist, Gynaecologist, Cardiologist and Paediatrician among others. Other healthcare providers also offer their services at pharmacies. As dentists, physiotherapists, nutritionists and podologists. These healthcare providers offer their services on scheduled days and by appointment. It is a must to book an appointment beforehand. Note that specialist healthcare services come at a higher fee. A consultation can range anywhere between €60 to €100.
Medication can be paid by cash or credit card. In most cases Doctor’s fees are paid to the pharmacist. Payment needs to be made in cash.
Some pharmacies provide health screening services. To help individuals check their health. Common screening includes blood pressure monitoring, cholesterol checks and diabetes screenings. Along with urine tests and food intolerance tests. These services contribute to early detection and prevention of chronic conditions. Empowering individuals to take proactive steps towards better health.
Pharmacists are trained healthcare professionals. Who can provide valuable health advice. Individuals can seek help on various health concerns. Besides discussing preventive measures.
Pharmacists often provide nutritional guidance. Offering advice on dietary choices and nutritional supplements. Pharmacists assist individuals in making informed decisions to support their health and well-being.
Pharmacies in Malta stock a variety of home healthcare supplies. Including first aid kits, wound care products, contact lenses, thermometers among others. This ensures that individuals have access to essential healthcare resources for home use. Local pharmacies also have a vast range of beauty and hygiene products. The likes of skin, face and hair products for all skin types. Pharmacies also stock up on make-up, perfumes and a variety of baby products. As nappies, baby food, formula milk, shampoos and bottles.
Pharmacies in Malta are much rooted in their communities. They engage in community outreach programs and health promotion initiatives. Pharmacists collaborate with local health authorities to raise awareness about various health issues. Further to promote healthy lifestyles and provide education on medication management.
A service introduced in recent years is that of the Pharmacy of Your Choice. Better known across the Maltese islands as POYC. Persons entitled to free medication from public healthcare can pick up their prescribed medicines from the pharmacy closest to their home. Individuals are to provide the pharmacist with all the respective documentation. Medicines are delivered to the pharmacy then collected by the individual.
Pharmacists as Healthcare Advocates
Pharmacists in Malta are recognized as essential members of the healthcare team. Contributing to patient care. Their role extends beyond the mere dispensing of medications. They collaborate with other healthcare professionals to ensure a thorough approach to healthcare. The pharmacist’s expertise is valuable. Pharmacists work to address concerns and provide guidance on medication.
In conclusion, pharmacies in Malta offer a diverse array of services. That goes beyond the conventional role of medication dispensing. Pharmacies play a vital part in Malta’s healthcare system. Contributing to the well-being of the population. Pharmacies evolved to meet the dynamic healthcare needs of the population. In the future, emphasis on a patient-centred approach will continue to shape pharmacies in Malta.