Malta joins the EU - original pics - implications
photos by Dr Mark Camilleri
These are some key implications of EU accession.
1. Qualifications listed in the Maltese Medical register will be recognised in other EU countries. Automatic recognition exists for those specialities listed in the accession treaty. Other qualifications are evaluated on a case by case basis.
2. Malta has to automatically recognise qualifications listed in the accession treaty.
3. Foriegn doctors from all 25 EU countries can seek employment in Malta. There is no restriction for self employed doctors. For salaried doctors Malta has the right to ask for a work permit where an excess exists. This applies to all EU countries. Eastern European accession states do not have freedom of movement till 2010 and their employment can be restricted by the government.
4. The Maltese language can be used by employers to assess suitable applicants when assesing the best candidate for a job, but language cannot be taken into consideration in granting professional recognition of qualifications. Ethical codes can also find a doctor at fault if problems arise because of lack of communication.
5. The European Working time directive will come into force in August. Fully trained doctors cannot be forced to work more than 48 hours per week, and doctors in training 58 hours per week. Individual doctors can opt out, and work longer hours.
6. EU citizens are entitle to "free" emergency care in other EU countries when they travel. However the respective government has to re-imburse the expenses after a special form(E111) is filled. The same applies to Maltese citizens travelling to the EU.