Medical tourism is becoming a sizeable industry in Malta thanks to growing frustration with long NHS waiting lists in the UK and patients' desire to avoid the risk of MRSA in British hospitals, it has emerged.
The majority of medical tourism patients in Malta come from the UK and Dr Frank Portelli, the chief executive of the island nation's St Philip's Hospital, revealed that local hospitals provide patients with high standards of medical care as well as doctors who speak English.
Dr Portelli told Malta Today: "Most of our doctors are simply first-class not only in expertise but also in their ethical behaviour."
Malta is an ideal location for British patients seeking treatment abroad, as it takes just a few hours to reach from the UK and benefits from excellent healthcare.
Prices are often between 60 and 70 per cent lower than private treatment in the UK, and the nation also enjoyed its reputation of 'nurse of the Mediterranean' during the evacuation of Gallipoli in 1915.