Have you noticed health benefits since your move?

Hi everyone

So I'm not one for over-sharing emotional stuff but I quite like that it is anonymous on here!

As many of you will know I am moving to Malta with my husband in a month. We are in our 30s,  work full time in professional jobs and will continue to do so when we come to Malta.

One of the reasons I wanted to move to Malta was because of the more consistent and warmer climate, as I have suffered from rheumatoid arthritis since I was a toddler. I know I have not suffered as badly as some others- I've been able to work, travel and live life fairly well, because up until the last couple of years my condition was quite sporadic. However over the last few years I've got worse and it has made me make lots of different lifestyle choices, including moving to Malta from Scotland. 

Anyway, what I want to know is - has anyone who has moved to Malta experienced an improvement in their health?

A warmer and more consistent climate is supposed to be better for people like me who have an immune system disorder. However, some people dispute this. Certainly whenever I go on holiday I feel better, at least with regards to the fatigue and feeling ill side of things, maybe not so much the joint pain.

I think that regardless, there will be a benefit to my mental health which definitely links to physical health. I think I'll also have the opportunity to make better lifestyle choices - gentle walking is my main option for exercise and this is easier to do when it is not raining every other day!

I'd love to know of any experiences or opinions - I have to live in hope! 



Yes and no! Everything that was wrong with me in the uk (COPD etc) has gone. However I developed a Endyma and my legs and feet are swollen and very painfull to walk. So much so that I was in hospital for 2 days. The care in the hospital was far better than uk and the doctors were excellent. Malta is one of the best health systems in the world. I paid nothing Zero as I'm retired and qualify for free health care under the uk-Malta reciprocal agreement.

I have now made friends with many doctors and they are much more qualified than UK doctors, sad but true.
Fi if you're gonna be I'll anywhere in the world this is the place to be.

Chalks: Healthcare in Malta is NOT better than in the UK. It varies from clinic to clinic, but overall England is far, faaar ahead of Malta in advanced treatments of pretty much everything. Malta doesn't have a strong healthcare system. It has a decent one. Just like most other EU countries. In cases of serious illness (say melanoma, leukemia, etc) you are far better off in England or Spain than in Malta. That's because Malta simply doesn't have the scale/budget to fund some of the more advanced treatments (talking from experience).

As for health benefits because of moving... there are pros and cons I think. Malta is very dusty and polluted. Pollution in many urban areas is way above EU average and on par with any large metropolis really.

Weather is much warmer, but it does get extremely humid. So it all comes down to humidity - if that doesn't exacerbate your condition then great.

As for us personally - we "felt" much healthier in Malta than in England because we started doing a lot of sports. Gym, pool, beaches almost daily. For some reason it was easy to do all of that in Malta. Maybe because gyms are cheap, 5* hotels do cheap yearly pool subscriptions, we worked less, I don't know... it was all very effortless. :)

Thanks for the replies. It's interesting to hear the different opinions on the health service.

We'll have private healthcare through my new job. I don't know the ins and outs of the cover yet, but do you think that makes a difference to level of care in Malta?

I'm not sure about the effects of humidity actually - we'll soon find out, as we're arriving in July!

Well, I am going to hold out hope that I improve when I'm there :)

With the sun shining and being able to be outside more I think that'll be a start anyway. Get some heat in my bones!

It cant be any worse anyway- i'm currently sitting with a thick jumper, blanket and central heating on after getting drenched several times today -you have to love Scotland in June!!

felinefine81 :

It cant be any worse anyway- i'm currently sitting with a thick jumper, blanket and central heating on after getting drenched several times today -you have to love Scotland in June!!

Kind of the same here in Austria at the moment :(   

But we're coming back to Malta next weekend, and then it's going to be all summer long in Malta!
Can't wait!

I'll keep my fingers crossed that the climate in Malta will make you feel better healthwise! It definitely worked for a good friend of ours (originally South African, but married in Holland, they moved down to Malta 3 years ago and she's feeling much better.

That's good to know, thanks! :)

Yea it depends. I too hope that your health improves! That's the most important thing in life. Everything is easier when you're healthy. :)

Just be sure to protect yourself from UV/sun exposure while in Malta. It's brutal and skin cancer rates are on the rise big time. I'd recommend doing two checkups a year just in case you do develop something... it's much easier to deal with if caught early. Checkups are cheap (about 40-50 euros a visit privately).

Thanks, that a good tip, especially with my Scottish genetics!


It's good to have the benefit of your wisdom from the 8 months you spent in Gozo, 2 years ago!
I have only been here 4 years, but so far I have found the healthcare to be much easier to access, just as good, and cheaper than the UK.
Try asking a doctor to come and visit you at home privately in the UK and see what he charges, I'll guarantee it won't be the €20 charged here!
An acquaintance of my wife needed a hip replacement and said - not in Malta- went back to the UK and it was messed up, my next door neighbour has had both knees done in a much quicker time here in Gozo and no problems!


Hi Ray

Thanks, that's good to know. That matches what I'd heard previously- I like the sound of better/easier access as that is something I've struggled with in the UK.

I appreciate your input :)

F0xgl0ve :

Try asking a doctor to come and visit you at home privately in the UK and see what he charges, I'll guarantee it won't be the €20 charged here!

I gladly pay €50 for home visits in Lithuania... and I would expect to pay around €100 in the UK. What's your point?

Sure doctors are more accessible in Gozo. But don't tell me that complex treatments are of better quality in Gozo than a good hospital in the UK. There are some exceptions of course. Come on now... It's a very nice place, but it doesn't have a superior healthcare system.

I once tried to get a doctor out to the house (in the UK) and they wouldn't even come! Some practices have a policy of no home visits which is very frustrating when you are immobile but not ill enough for an ambulance. So home visits in Malta is a definite plus point for me anyway.

I don't have any health problems, so I can't say whether there's any health benefits to living here, it can be very dusty so I can see that could be a problem.  The sun is definitely a mood lifter though, plus getting out more because of the weather can only be a good thing. I'm not sure how it'll be for you in the winter, it gets very cold because of the humidity inside and it really does get in your bones.  It's not pleasant, but hopefully it doesn't last too long.  This winter was mild compared to the year before.

As for healthcare, I can't praise it enough.  We don't have private healthcare so I can't comment, but not that long after we moved here I found a lump so paid private to see a doctor.  Within two weeks I'd had a laparotomy and a huge tumor removed, so even though there's queues like most countries for ct scans, operations, etc, when it seems urgent they don't mess about.  Private wouldn't have pushed me any further up the queue if I had got it.

Sam4321 thanks for replying, I'm glad to hear you had good, quick service.

You might be right about the winter- I read elsewhere to get a good humidifier, which we will do if the flat doesn't come with one.

Even if I get a few months where I suffer more it will still be better than here, where I get little respite throughout the whole year. To get a few summer months with good weather straight through will help I think :)

Can't wait to get there!

From my own personal experience, both my wife and I feel healthier than we did in the UK. It maybe the sun having a placebo effect, but i'll take that.

I suffer from nasal polyps which are infinitely better over here than in the UK. It just shows the state off the air quality in the UK that on this dusty island I fare better than on a recent weekend trip back, where I suffered terribly.

Also tenuously related to your condition, I have suffered a number of broken bones throughout my life which I used to 'feel the damp' in the area of the break and surrounding joints, but a lot less, if at all here.

That sounds promising! One of the worst things for me is that one of my knees has a lot of damage in it and that causes bad pain in itself. That's the knee that tells me when it's going to rain!

So maybe that will ease off a bit, at least in the summer :)

I do not - yet - suffer any serious health problems (knock-on-wood), but since I moved to Malta my blood pressure came down (less stress at work, less stress in life), I do much more exercises outdoor (especially during winter months) and my mood is much better balanced (do not need light therapy for SAD anymore  :) )

I have nothing to complain about dental care (annual basic check and cleaning costs 25 Euro), I felt very well treated at Mater Dei hospital after my scooter accident as well as from my family doctor (10 Euro consulting fee at the pharmacy and 18 Euro for house call).

I have a thyroid problem (autoimune) and since our move to Malta I cut my medication dose by half and feel much better. The other contribution may have been change in my diet as well as I am eating much more vegetables & fruit than I used to, since they taste here much much better :) Plus the sun, that is always a bonus, if not to your physical, definetely to your mental health!

Tinna9 that is very promising as RA is autoimmune too. Plus i definitely think there is a strong link between feeling mentally well and happy, and feeling physically well. At the very least I think you can cope better.

Great to hear everyone's experiences, I'm feeling very positive about it all!

Most definatly , my wife has CF and I have spinal injury from a teenager with onset of arthritis. Medication problems in uk gave me unstable angina. In uk dispite cut backs both my wife an I were written off. I'm 57yrs old. But we both work full time and I ride a motorcycle most of the year, here over 3yrs. We have our life back, hospital has been excellent for my wife and she benefiting in so many ways. Not all easy as meds take age to sort but don't give up. When here feel free to email if we can help wrc1879[at] Don't look back.

Wotsnext that's great to hear! So glad to know you and your wife are doing better :)

My husband and I have both felt a bit written off by the NHS and we're in our 30s - very frustrating!

We may be in touch when we arrive if we struggle with meds etc.

All the best


Our next door neighbour here in Yorkshire suffered from rheumatoid arthritis and on her doctors advice, to seek a warmer climate, moved to the south of France over 10 years ago; she has never looked back and now enjoys a much more active life-style that has made even more health benefits (so she says anyway :) )

Brilliant! Fingers crossed :)


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