Malta officially known as the Republic of Malta (Maltese: Repubblika ta' Malta), is a Southern European country consisting of an archipelago situated in the centre of the Mediterranean, with three of it's six islands inhabited. Malta covers just over 316 km2 (122 sq mi) in land area, making it one of the world's smallest states. It is also one of the most densely populated countries worldwide, with a permanent resident population of 415,000. The country has two official languages, Maltese (considered the national language) and English.
Throughout history, Malta's location has given it great strategic importance, and a succession of powers including the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans, Aragonese, Habsburg Spain, Knights of St John, French and the British ruled the islands. Malta gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1964 and became a republic in 1974, whilst retaining membership in the Commonwealth of Nations. Malta was admitted to the United Nations in 1964 and to the European Union in 2004. Malta is also party to the Schengen Agreement and in 2008 it became part of the eurozone.
With over 7,000 years of civilization, Malta is home to about twenty prehistoric temples and sites including Gganija Temples, which are the oldest, free-standing monuments in the world. These buildings are a testament to the islands inhabitation for at least 1,000 years before the famous Egyptian pyramids of Giza were constructed.
The earliest noted rulers of the Maltese Islands were the Phoenicians. The transfer of rule was frequent. Among the sequence of conquerors were Romans, the Byzantine Empire, Arabs, Normans and Spaniards. In 1530 the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem acquired rule of the islands by a land grant from Charles V of Spain and maintained power for 268 years. The Knights of St. John fell to Napoleon in 1798, whose rule lasted only two years. The British took possession of Malta in 1800 and retained the islands until 1964 when the Maltese Islands were granted independence. Ten years later, in 1974, Malta became a Republic within the British Commonwealth.
During 1939-1943, the Maltese Islands suffered heavy bombing attacks by the Axis powers, but resisted courageously. The entire population was awarded King George V's highest decoration for bravery in World War II, the George Cross Medal.
Malta's population density of 1,282 per square kilometer (3,322/sq mi) is by far the highest in the EU, and one of the highest in the world. Native Maltese people make up the majority of the island. However there are minorities, the largest of which are British people, many of whom retired to Malta. At the end of 2008 the population of the Maltese Islands stood at 413,609 and is expected to reach 424,028 by 2025. The only census year showing a fall in population was that of 1967, with a 1.7% total decrease, attributable to a substantial number of Maltese residents who emigrated. As of 2005, 17% were aged 14 and under, 68% were within the 15–64 age bracket whilst the remaining 13% were 65 years and over.
The population's age composition is similar to the age structure prevalent in the EU. Since 1967 there was observed a trend indicating an ageing population, this is expected to continue for the foreseeable future. Malta's old-age-dependency-ratio rose from 17.2% in 1995 to 19.8% in 2005, reasonably lower than the EU's 24.9% average. The 50–64 age group constitutes 20.3% of the population, significantly higher than the EU's 17.9%. Malta's old-age-dependency-ratio is expected to continue rising steadily in the coming years.
There are numerous finacial reasons to conduct business in Malta, including;
|Pharmaceuticals & Equipment||€100M|
|Total Healthcare Spend||€300M|
Healthcare system: 'Free' comprehensive, health service for all citizens. Funding through general taxation. Low income beneficiaries are 'means tested' and are entitled to free medicines. Free drugs dispensed to patients with chronic diseases irrespective of financial means.
|Government Hospitals:||Private Hospitals:|
|Mater Dei||825 beds||Capua||80 beds|
|Sir Paul Boffa (Dermatology & Oncology)||58 beds||St. James||13 beds|
|Mount Carmel (Psychiatric)||563 beds|
|70% have clinics with practicing doctors|