Employment/Location/Medical/Transport

...and in these threads too. But you'll have to dig out the nuggets yourself! These are legacy threads from the good old days of the flatform forum that are just too daunting to upgrade!

Employment/Location/Medical/Transport

Postby Sue96 » Tue 24 Aug 2004 12:58

Hi folks. My husband and I are planning to move to Malta or Gozo in around 18 months time and have so many questions...

We are in our early 50s and cannot afford to retire at this stage. We are both self-employed in the UK at present. Please can anyone direct us to any recent (since joining the EU) information relating to employment issues? Much of what is on the internet still seems to relate to Malta’s pre-EU status.

My limited understanding is that it is still not possible to seek employment in terms of “getting an existing job” but that starting a small business and being self-employed within it would be OK. Does anyone know if I am correct in this? Also, if this were a small crafts manufacturing business, I am not clear whether items produced could be sold into the Maltese market or could only be exported. Would it be possible to set up a crafts retail shop of some type? Has anyone first hand experience of setting up/self-employment in a small business locally? Is it pretty straightforward?

Having visited both islands, we are undecided as to whether we would wish to settle in Gozo or Malta. My husband is concerned we may find Gozo rather small and claustrophobic while I feel the slower pace of life would be wonderful (and the bustle of Malta is only a boat ride away after all). Any opinions/advice from those of you who have already taken the plunge would be gratefully received. Also, advice as to best areas to look at in terms of finding somewhere to live. We would probably rent first before buying.

Does anyone have experience of medical treatment on the islands? I understand from what I have read that there should be no problem. My husband is under the care of a consultant cardiologist in the UK due to a heart arrhythmia and high blood pressure. I am hoping that he would be able to transfer to a local cardiologist without needing to make regular trips back to the UK for this purpose. Does anyone have local experience to share? I presume the main hospital on Malta can cope with pretty much all eventualities. Would this also be true of Gozo? We are hoping the change of pace and more outdoor healthy lifestyle would have beneficial effects on our health anyway, but I guess we have to ask the questions.

And finally (for now!) – we are thinking it would make exploring the islands easier and more fun if we owned a 4WD vehicle at the time we moved over. We are currently looking at buying a used, imported, high spec, diesel Mitsubishi Pajero with a view to owning it more or less forever! Does anyone have any views as to whether it will be possible to keep it maintained. We are of the opinion that the Maltese can maintain any and all vehicles, judging by the ones I have seen running over there! We have been advised to stick to Japanese brands. Is Mitsubishi a good bet? Any thoughts?

We’d be happy to hear from anyone about expat life in Malta/Gozo. Please do get in touch either via the board or privately (sue96@techemail.com). Thanks very much! Best wishes, Sue
Sue96
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Moving to Gozo

Postby Bill Wood » Tue 24 Aug 2004 15:28

Hi Sue :D

I have just read your mailing and we (Pauline and me (Bill) are about 17 months head of you. We move to Xaghra next month (September 14) to live full time. All the questions you rasied are the self same ones I attempted to get answers for and this is the right forum for it.

WORK

My research would suggest that there are still restrictions on working on the island, self employed excepted. There appears to be some relaxations on the tight employment controls which were there pre EU. That is not to say that you should be able to pick up employment easly, but should you be able to do somthing that would benifit the Maltese tourism then they would welcome that. (It's only when you become a competitor to esablished jobs that, quite rightly, they take umbridge.

We have boght a small farmhouse and, whilst not working immedately, thinking of using some of the spare rooms to help possible furture expats to come over and stay whilst looking to see if Gozo is the place for them.

I have had some experience with the Hospital on Gozo and the facilities are very good, and no que which is someting I have not previoulsy experience here in the UK (unless you go private). There are a number of forms to complete and there is a reciprocal agreement between the UK and Malta, but make sure you have the correct forms completed prior to relocating. It could be that the UK will pay for any emergency medical treatment that you may need. I don't know about the specific medical facilities in respect of heart and other consultants, maybe there are others using the forum that could help you there.

Can't think of anything else that I can help with, other than to say the Gozitans are probably the most helpful and friendly people I have ever met in all my time globe trotting, hence the reason for us moving and retiring there.

So, if you are around in Gozo later this year, why not email me and maybe I can pass on some of the contact details I have which may help you make up your mind.

Best of luck 8)

Bill
Bill
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Postby Tim » Wed 25 Aug 2004 20:41

Hi Sue,

I'm glad you found this forum and posted your questions, and I hope that the small group of us here can give you some useful info. I don't have anything to add to Bill's commesnt about working here, but it occurs to me that there is an EU Info Centre here and when I get a chance I will go and ask them what they think the situation is.

As for health, in addition to the state hospitals, there are some private ones and one, called St James's, is reputedly very good. It has sites on both Malta and Gozo and I've been assured that they have all the equipment needed for cardiology etc. I don't know about consultants, charges etc though.

You'll find this group here is biased towards Gozo. That is unintentional, just the way it has developed. If your husband has heart trouble, I would say that the slower pace over here is an avantage over the hassle and stress of Malta - especially on the road! However, you need to be where you will get plenty of business and since you will be mainly targeting tourists, you might want to be located in one of the main tourist centres on Malta. There are foreign (German and Dutch, I think) artists on Gozo, and one of them offers 3-4 day courses in her studio, so I guess you could make a living ok here.

I'm not sure that heart problems and 4x4s are a good mix, especially on Malta's legendary lousy roads with no signposting!! I rent cars when I need them and have had no problem with getting one of the little Peugeot 206s up the steepest and most unlikely looking tracks in Gozo, even with 4 passengers inside! I have also just handed back a Suzuki Maruti Gypsy jeep which also did a great job of going everywhere with a bunch of visitors who left yesterday. Pajeros are everywhere and there would be no problem in getting them maintained here. It's a question of whether you and your friends speak Spanish, I guess (Pajero has an unfortunate translation!)

All the best for now, and please come back and post follow-up questions whenever you want,

Tim
If you care about the Maltese landscape please save Ta Cenc.
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Postby Sue96 » Fri 27 Aug 2004 10:56

Hi Bill

Thanks very much for your reply. How wonderful that you are on the brink of your move to Gozo. I wish you and Pauline all the best and will look forward to reports on how it all went and how you are settling in!

Thanks for your thoughts about the work situation. We would not be looking to take existing jobs, so hopefully we will be able to establish some sort of self-employment situation. Would still be interested to hear about the experiences of anyone who has set up a small business. It sounds as though focussing on tourism would be a good idea.

I was also glad to hear of your good experience with the hospital. It all sounds very reassuring.

Thanks for your encouragement and we will certainly be in touch if we manage to sneak away later in the year for a bit of a reccy in Gozo.

Best wishes, Sue
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Postby Sue96 » Fri 27 Aug 2004 10:57

Hi Tim

Thanks for taking the time to welcome me to the forum, and for your advice. Any info you can glean from the EU info centre would be gratefully received (especially in regard to self-employment/small business).

Thanks also for the info about private hospitals. Good to know there are alternatives should they be needed.

As to location – it sort of depends if we are allowed to sell our product into the domestic market. If we are restricted to exporting only (and I have read so much conflicting information on the internet!), then we could be located anywhere at all.

My husband’s heart arrhythmia is not considered heart disease, and just really needs keeping an eye on. He can’t feel it and therefore it doesn’t inconvenience him at all, but I can appreciate that the tranquillity of Gozo might do lots of good for his high blood pressure and stress levels generally.

Thanks for your thoughts about cars (and yes, I do speak a bit of Spanish and know about the unfortunate translation of Pajero – good that we are not planning to move to Spain or, particularly I think, Central or South America!). It’s good to know you believe we would be able to keep up to such a car locally. The small garage where we have been looking at the 4x4s has a history of exporting them to Malta, so I thought it would probably be OK.

Thanks again for your help.

Best wishes, Sue
Sue96
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