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Medico-legal and obstetric challenges of recent demographic increases in Malta

George Gregory Buttigieg, Kirill Micallef Stafrace, Momchil Mavrov, Anna Mihaylova, Ekaterina Uchikova


The southern Mediterranean island of Malta, strategically located between North Africa and Europe and a full member of the European Union, offers an excellent European standard obstetric service. Yet, this obstetric service, like all other medical disciplines, is undergoing a severe evolutionary challenge imposed by rapid demographic shifts. It also finds itself without significant and relevant medico-legal legislation which is likely to lead to serious acute needs at the interface between the rapidly changing nature and number of foreigners residing in Malta and their medical needs, especially in the obstetric sector.

The article looks at several factors, which argue for the immediate need of implementation of such legislation. One aspect of crucial importance is the demographic fact of rapidly changing profile of the patients making use of the Maltese Obstetric Service (MOS). This is the result of an influx of both EU nationals as well as irregular migrants, mostly of sub-Saharan origin. Both provide their own form of challenges to the MOS. In both, albeit more likely in the case of EU nationals, these challenges may easily find expression and resolution in eventual medico-legal action.



medico-legal legislation, obstetric service, Malta, immigrants, demographic changes

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About The Authors

George Gregory Buttigieg
University of Malta

Faculty of Medicine and Surgery

Kirill Micallef Stafrace
University of Malta

Faculty of Medicine and Surgery;

Mater Dei Hospital, Malta

Momchil Mavrov
Medical University of Plovdiv

Department of Health Care Management, Faculty of Public Health;

St. George University Hospital, Plovdiv Bulgaria

Anna Mihaylova
Medical University of Plovdiv

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine

Ekaterina Uchikova
Medical University of Plovdiv

St. George University Hospital, Plovdiv Bulgaria

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