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Reciprocal Health Agreement (RHA) UK - Malta

The Reciprocal Health Agreement (RHA) is a special agreement between the UK and Malta which has existed for around 40 years. It allows citizens of Malta and the UK to use the health services of each other's country without cost. It is mostly used when the person is neither working nor paying national insurance nor has reached retirement age. Not many UK citizens living in Malta will fall into this group. It is normally only residents who are not retired, not working and are living from savings.


An application for residency in Malta requires proof of health cover. In order to use the reciprocal health agreement as proof of health cover, one has to obtain the so-called "RHA Entitlement Card" from the health department which can then be used for the residency application.

In practice obtaining treatment under the reciprocal health agreement can be as simple as showing your passport / id card at a medical centre or the hospital in Malta. However strictly speaking, the RHA card may be requested before treatment is given.

It is worth noting that although the reciprocal health agreement can be used for long-term residency in Malta, there are some limitations to it. Certain care services are not available and possibly free medication for serious ailments. Perhaps more importantly the reciprocal health agreement does not cover treatment abroad. This may seem unimportant, but being small Malta does not have the capacity to treat every type of illness or injury. In this case it may be necessary to send a patient abroad (probably to the UK) for treatment. If you have however registered as a resident of Malta you would no longer be eligible (even as a UK citizen) for UK treatment and would in this case probably have to relocate back to the UK for treatment or pay the cost of the NHS treatment. Additionally you would not be eligible for the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This entitles you to free treatment anywhere in the EU while travelling. Without the EHIC card a private travel insurance would be necessary.

Apply for Reciprocal Health Agreement (RHA) Card

Application form for reciprocal health agreement (RHA)

There are two way to obtain the Reciprocal Health Agreement (RHA) Card.

Apply in person for RHA Card

This can be done at the following location:

Ground Floor
Ex-Outpatient Block
St Luke's Hospital
G'Mangia Hill
G'Mangia

Tel: 2595 2400
e-mail: entitlement.doh@gov.mt

Entitlement Unit open from Monday to Friday 8:00 - 13:00

Location of St Luke's Hospital

Apply by post for reciprocal health aggreement card

Send the documents to St Lukes' Hospital (address above). Copy of passport and residence card (if available at the time) will need to be authenticated.

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