St Philip's Hospital will strive to provide quality medical treatment in a humane and caring environment.

We hold the patient’s interest to be our interest.

We are committed to providing a personalized, specialized, accessible and effective care of the highest quality within an environment of intensive care in a humane environment.

We are dedicated to meeting the needs of:

Our patients: excellent and cost-effective tailor-made care
Our staff: highly trained and dedicated
Our nation: partnership in promoting health


Commitment – We will continue to uphold the highest professional integrity and to dedicate our time, energy and resources to offer the best service possible to our patients in the highest ethical manner possible.
Collegiality – Working as one holistic dedicated team, putting our resources together to serve our patients
Consideration - valuing and caring for every patient. Putting our patients first: being respectful and thoughtful to their needs.
Dignity – treating all our patients with respect, the high esteem and dignity they deserve.
Honesty – Being truthful, honest, and open in our relations with our patients and their relatives.
Solidarity - To serve our patients, in the best possible way and to be compassionate and sensitive to their needs.

Interview with Dr Frank Portelli, chief executive of St Philip’s Hospital

First of all, how would you describe St Philip’s Hospital?

I have been CEO at St Philips Hospital since 1999 and obviously I have seen many changes during this time – it is, if I may say so, a professionally run independent hospital focusing on a personal service and quality medicine.

From my own experience both as a Doctor (and as a patient who has undergone major surgery )- Hospitals tend to be very cold and impersonal places.

I can tell you that having been myself a patient being wheeled into a hospital on a trolley – a hospital looks a daunting place.

Our staff work hard to ensure that St Philip’s Hospital offers a warm personal service to our patients – I personally have no difficulty using the word patient instead of the trendy term client.
To my mind a patient is more than a client, a client has desires – whereas a patient has needs.

These needs cannot be met in a hospital corridor as is unfortunately the case in many NHS hospitals. We have ensured that our staff is always there to meet patients’ needs on a personal basis in the comfort of the patient's own room – not in a general ward with some flimsy curtain around your bed. Even the health department in Malta has realized this and the new state hospital is being designed on the same lines with private rooms as we have in St Philips Hospital.

What are the strengths of the hospital?

St Philip’s Hospital is a relatively small hospital and therefore our major strength is the personal service that our staff provides on a day-to-day basis. I must admit that we receive excellent feedback from our patients, including from many British patients on the NHS waiting list for a knee or hip replacement who are coming over to receive high quality rapid treatment.

What makes St Philip’s Hospital any different from the other private or national hospitals on the island?

The accent at St Philip’s Hospital is on quality-care – we provide a nurse patient ratio of not less than 1 to 6 for normal care that is one nurse is dedicated to look after 5 or 6 patients. Patients who are more dependent may have one to one nursing care. Quality care and personal service remain high on our priority list and from the feedback we regularly receive, it seems that our patients are appreciating the efforts we are making to provide value added service.

The first time I set foot in the reception area of the hospital, I was struck by the fact that it does not ‘smell’ or look like a normal hospital, and I almost felt that I was entering the lobby of a four or five star hotel. How do you manage to keep this image?

The so-called hotel services in a hospital are in my view an essential and integral part of treatment. I do not believe you can receive proper medical care in a hospital corridor – in an environment where overcrowding and understaffing are the order of the day. Indeed it has been shown that serious infections such as MRSA are transmitted from patient to patient when there is overcrowding and lack of hygiene. Keeping the hospital clean and treating patients in individual rooms is crucial for us. We do not compromise with quality and neither do we compromise when it comes to the well being of our patients.

Who is the typical Maltese patient who chooses St Philips?

In Malta our national health system (NHS) is based on the British model, where patients are entitled to “free” medical treatment at the point of contact. However every one is now realizing that the NHS in its present form is not sustainable – waiting lists are growing for a number of conditions, such as hip and knee replacement, cataract operations etc.
Therefore more people are seeking treatment in private hospitals. The percentage of Maltese people who are adequately insured is still rather low but it appears to be increasing. Every one should seriously consider taking up adequate insurance covers to ensure they can get high quality and efficient treatment the moment it is needed.

It is no secret that St Philip’s Hospital is succeeding to attract a significant amount of foreign patients especially British patients on the waiting list of the British national health system. Is it correct to say that patients on waiting lists are can have their expenses reimbursed by their health authority?

In the UK alone there are nearly one million people on waiting lists. This is causing a lot of hardship for hundreds of thousands of British nationals, including elderly people in need of knee or hip replacement. We believe that Malta is an ideal place for British nationals to come for medical treatment – in Malta there are no language barriers, our consultants are mostly British trained, and the British themselves feel at home in Malta. This is precisely why we are managing to attract British patients on the NHS waiting lists to come over for treatment. In the case of patients who have been waiting for treatment for more than six months, they could be entitled to receive free treatment abroad under EU rules. My advice for people in such circumstances is to contact their health authority prior to making arrangements.

Am I correct to say that two typical services British patients on the NHS waiting list choose at St Philips’ are hip replacement and knee replacement?

Waiting lists for hip operations are probably the longest – at least in the UK – but there are long waiting lists for other procedures as well. I confirm that British patients on the NHS waiting list for knee or hip replacement are regularly coming over for treatment.

What are the strengths of Malta as a destination for a foreigner patient?

A combination of factors is making Malta a very attractive destination for medical treatment. First of all the fact that English language is an official language in Malta is a major edge over other destinations. The Mediterranean climate and warm winter is also another consideration, especially for the elderly foreign patients. Other strengths include the fact that Malta is perceived to be a very safe destination and also the fact that our health standards are considered to be very high.

Do you receive feedback from foreign patients, and specifically from the many British patients choosing St Philip’s Hospital?

I will not be exaggerating when I say that we are overwhelmed with the feedback we are receiving from British patients and I urge readers to visit the Testimonials section in our site to see some of the reactions we are receiving from our patients. For several years we have been working hard to create the right atmosphere, to set high quality standards and to ensure that we always put the patient at the centre of our operations. It seems that we are now reaping the fruit of years of work by a dedicated medical team at our hospital.

Can you elaborate on the equipment available at St Philip’s Hospital?

Obviously modern medicine relies a great deal on technology – we have invested a great deal of money in the latest technologies – a fast spiral CT scanner that can scan the whole human body in less than one minute. We are also installing a new open MRI, and because this MRI is open patients will not feel claustrophobic – also kinetic studies can be performed i.e. the injured or diseased part can be examined whilst moving. We are continuously investing in state of the art medical equipment, which is a necessity in this day and age.

A lot of patients are usually frustrated waiting for the diagnosis. Does it take a long time to carry out the diagnosis at St Philip’s Hospital?

Waiting has become the bugbear of most NHS systems. Waiting for an unduly long period of time can have disastrous consequences. Many conditions are treatable if the diagnosis is made early – patients can deteriorate quickly.

I have established benchmarks at St Philips Hospital to ensure that from the time of admission the hospital will be in a position to perform all the required examinations and tests and to come up with an initial diagnosis in a time frame of four hours from admission. Unless you have benchmarks standards cannot be maintained.

Can you explain the price structures at St Philip’s Hospital? Will a patient know precisely how much he or she will be spending for a particular operation or is the price established after their stay?

Money is important, without money you cannot do certain things, certainly you cannot run a hospital – but money is not everything. Many patients are concerned about the cost of treatment. We have therefore established a number of packages for a fixed cost for surgical operations – once we quote a price the patient has our guarantee that the price is fixed.

Finally, what is your vision for St Philip’s Hospital? Where do you want to take this hospital…let’s say in five or ten years time?

I see St Philips Hospital as being the leader in private medical care – we will be bringing in new technology from Europe on IVF/ Assisted Fertility Programs/ Cord Blood Bank.

Next on our agenda will be PET / CT scan for early diagnosis of cancer. The future beckons – we will keep moving forward.

The Specialists at St Philip’s Hospital

Mr. Adrian Mark AGIUS MD, FRCS (Ed), M Med Sc (BHam)
Mr Agius is an ENT consultant surgeon and also holds the post of lecturer and examiner in ENT at the University of Malta Medical School. He is also Malta Representative’s for the European Union Medical Specialists-Otolaryngology section. Mr Agius furthered his studies and received postgraduate training at the University of Dundee and the University of Birmingham.

Dr. Anthony Alfred BERNARD MD, FRCS Ed, FRCS Orth
Dr. Bernard is a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, St. Luke’s Hospital, Malta, and Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at St Philip’s Hospital and a Senior Lecturer at the University of Malta. His areas of specialization include knee & hip replacement, knee ligament reconstruction – Auto graft & Artificial and leg lengthening/angular correction by Callus Distraction. Dr Bernard has furthered his studies and received further training in various hospitals across the UK.

Dr Briffa holds the post of consultant plastic and reconstructive surgeon within the Maltese NHS. Following general surgical training in Malta and the UK, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh in 1990. His specialist training in plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgery was undertaken in regional centres in Norwich and Plymouth as well as at Charing Cross, Queen Mary’s and St George’s Hospitals in London.

Prof Mark Paul BRINCAT
Prof Brincat is the Chairman and Head of Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Malta Medical School. He held the post of Professor in Reproductive Medicine at the University of Nottingham (1997–2001). He was also Registrar at King’s College Hospital (1985-1996) and Senior Registrar at St. George’s Hospital Medical School (1980-1990). Prof Brincat received his training in Obstetrics & Gynaecology at King’s College Hospital School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Walter Joseph BUSUTTIL
Dr Busuttil holds the post of consultant in cardio thoracic surgery at St. Luke’s Hospital, Malta. He has given tutorials to medical students at The University of Liverpool both in General Surgery and in Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery in the UK as well as tutorials in surgery to medical students at the University of Malta. He holds a full registration with the UK General Medical Council.

Dr Buttigieg is a senior Consultant at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at St. Luke's Hospital, Malta. His professional interests include Laparoscopic surgery, Gynaecological cancer surgery and Urogynaecology. Dr Buttigieg is a Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery within the University of Malta. He is also Malta’s Official Representative at the European College and Boards of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

Mr. Gordon R. CARUANA-DINGLI, MD, LRCP (Edin), LRCS (Edin), LRCP & S (Glasg), FRCS (Edin), FRCS, RCPS (Glasg).
Mr Caruana Dingli is a general surgeon with an interest in breast disease and all forms of hernia repair and at present holds the post of Lecturer in Surgery at the University of Malta. He is a journal reviewer for the British Medical Journal as well as the Malta Medical Journal. Mr Caruana Dingli furthered his studies and received training in the UK and Italy.

Joseph Anthony COLEIRO MD (Malta), FRCS (Ed, FRCOphth (London), DO (London)
Dr Coleiro is a Consultant Ophthalmologist at Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, Dundee, Scotland. He is also Hon. Senior Lecturer in Ophthalmology, at the University of Dundee, Scotland. His main areas of expertise include cataract surgery and corneal transplantation. He is an examiner at the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, the Royal College of Ophthalmologists of London and the Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Glasgow. He received his training in Scotland.

Mr Stephen MATTOCKS MD, FRCS (Edin), FRCS (Glasg), FEBU, FRCS (UROL)
Mr Mattocks is a Consultant Urologist in the Maltese NHS and the private sector. His areas of expertise include general urology, stone management as well as renal, bladder, and prostate and testicular tumours. He is a member of the European Board of Urology, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and the Royal College of Surgeons of Glasgow He received postgraduate training in various teaching hospitals in the UK.

Dr Padovani held posts within the NHS and among others; he held the post of appointed consultant Anaesthetist at St. Luke’s Hospital, Malta. His area of specialization is anaesthesia. In 1997 he left the local NHS to work solely in private practice and at St. Philip’s Hospital. He furthered his studies received specialized training in the UK.

Prof Angelo J. PSAILA M.D., DCH (Lond), FRCP (Lond), FRCP (Edin), FRCP (Glasg)
Prof Psaila is currently a Professor of Medicine at the University of Malta and a visiting consultant physician at St Philip's Hospital. Prof Psaila is a general physician and his areas of specialization include clinical cardiology and cardiovascular medicine.
Prof Psaila received his postgraduate training in the UK (London, Birmingham, Shrewsbury, York) and later in Sweden (Stockholm and Gothenburg).

DR. Bernard COLEIRO M.D., M.R.C.P. ( U.K. )
Special interest in rheumatology. Assessing and managing referrals of patients with a variety of rheumatological conditions ranging from soft tissue rheumatism such as tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis and tenosynovitis to the more serious systemic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus and dermatomyositis.
Previously specialist Registrar at the Department of Rheumatology / Royal Free Hospital in London under the supervision of Prof C. Black.
Honorary Clinical Lecturer University of Malta.

Mr Mario SAID
Mr Said is a consultant Otolaryngologist with the Malta NHS, a Consultant Otolaryngologist at St Philip’s Hospital and a lecturer in Otolaryngology at the University of Malta Medical School. His areas of specialization include functional Endoscopic sinus surgery, laser and co ablation assisted procedures for sleep disorders including tongue-base techniques, laryngeal framework surgery, Salivary gland surgery and Tympanoplasty, and stapedectomy. He received further training in Germany and Italy.

Dr Savona Ventura is a consultant obstetrician-Gynaecologist and Consultant at the Diabetic Pregnancy Joint Clinic, Department of Health, and Malta. He also holds the post of Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Medicine& Surgery and Institute of Health Care, University of Malta; He is also a Specialist Obstetrician-Gynaecologist in Private Practice. Dr Savona Ventura furthered his studies and received specialized training in the UK, Belgium. Poland and Ireland.

Medical License: Malta, Europe: Reg. # 1970.
Medical Council of UK 1980 Reg# 2683315
Specialist Certificate in GYNAECOLOGY and OBSTETRICS

Medical Training:

1974-1977 University of Malta, M.D.
1977-1980 Victoria University of Manchester: Degree: MB.ChB
1987-1989 Clinical Tutor: University of Liverpool

Special Interest: Minimally Invasive Therapy & Endoscopy

Professor Albert C VINCENTI MD FRCPath
Prof Vincenti is the Director of Surgical Pathology Services at St Philip's Hospital. He is also the head of University and NHS Pathology departments at St Luke's Hospital, Malta's General Teaching Hospital. He held the post of consultant Histopathologist & Cytologist, and later Pathology Services Director, at Winchester & Eastleigh Health Care Trust, UK. Prof Vincenti trained in Pathology in five centres of excellence in London, between 1971 and 1980.

Dr Zerafa holds the post of consultant Anaesthetist at St. Luke's Hospital,
Malta and has particular interest in Paediatric and cardio thoracic
anaesthesia. He is also Honorary Senior Lecturer in Anaesthesia and
Intensive Care at the University of Malta. He has previously held the posts
of registrar, senior registrar and specialist registrar in anaesthesia in
various hospitals in Malta and across the UK, including a year at the Great
Ormond Street Hospital for Children. He is also a UKRC certified Paediatric
Advanced Life Support Instructor and Chairperson of the first Malta
Resuscitation Council.

George Felice MD 1975 FRCS(London) 1983
Qualified In Malta studied in UK, Senior Registrar at St Marks Hospital City Rd, London followed by 5 years of research at the Hunterian Institute Royal College of London leading to a PH D.
1991 appointed as Consultant Surgeon ST Luke’s Hospital – special interest laparoscopic surgery and thyroid surgery.

Dr Alex Aquilina
Consultant and Chairman in National Blood Transfusion Service in April 2002.
“Responsible Person” National Blood Transfusion Service as from February 2005
Member of the Blood Products Advisory Committee for the Dept of Health since April 1998.

Maltese expert on “The Council of Europe;” Committee of Experts on Blood Transfusion since 1998.
Representative of the Maltese Government on the “Blood Regulatory Committee” European Commission DG Health and Consumer Protection since 2003. National expert on EMEA (European Medicines Agency) on the Blood Products Working Group since 2004.

Lecturer University of Malta in Haematology and Immunology

Dr. James DeGaetano M.D., D.C.P. (Lond),F.R.C.P.A.
September 1987 to February 1988 Histopathology Module at the RMPS
September 1988 to February 1989 Haematology Module at the RMPS
Hammersmith Hospital, London

Elected a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia in September 1996


Consultant Histopathologist at St. Luke’s Hospital
Senior Lecturer in Pathology at The University of Malta


Solitary Fibrous tumour of the nasal cavity: MMJ 1993
Melanoma-like pigmented cutaneous metastasis from breast carcinoma:
Clin. Exp. Dermatology 2004; 29: 144-6
Lupus Vulgaris in a Maltese Patient: MMJ 2004

Dr. Michael Sammut BSc(Hons)., PhD (Brist)., MRCPath., CSci., CChem.,FRSC
1977 PhD Environmental/Analytical Chemistry , Bristol University (UK)
2004 MRCPath ( Toxicology)
By invitation of Council of the Royal College of Pathologists, UK; under ordinance
3( C ) (iii ) of the college statute:
‘ for persons who shall have been judged by the council to be pathologists of sufficient standing’


Chief Scientist ( Consultant Toxicologist) i/c Toxicology Unit, Pathology Department, St. Luke’s Hospital. Senior Lecturer ( Clinical Chemistry and Toxicology )
Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, University of Malta
Court Expert in Forensic Toxicology


Assessment of Human Exposure to Lead.
Comparison between Belgium, Malta, Mexico and Sweden.
Bruax and Svartengren ( Eds)
WHO 1985
Pethidine blood concentration at time of birth.
Savona Ventura C., Sammut M. and Sammut C.
J. Gynaecology. Obstetric., 1991, 103 – 107
Aspects of analytical chemistry in marine toxicity testing.
Chronic lead exposure and pregnancy.
Savona Ventura C. Sammut M. Ducoffre G. and Clayes F.
International Journal of Risk and Safety in Medicine, 1994, 6, 5
Petrol lead in a small island environment
Sammut M. and Savona Ventura C.
International Journal of Risk and Safety in Medicine, 1996, 9, 33

Blood Lead levels in pregnant women and neonates
Savona Ventura C, Sammut M., Licari L and Vassallo A.
Maltese Medical Journal 1997, 1, 42
Lead in the Maltese Environment and its significance to man.
Savona Ventura C. and Sammut M.
Journal of Euro med Pharmacy, 1998, 1: 4, 8
Lead shot pellets as soil pollutants in the Maltese Islands.
Sammut M. Savona Ventura C., Taliana M. and Cachia W
Xjenza , 1998, 3:1, 25

Lead and other metals in gestational hypertension
Magri J., Sammut M., Savona Ventura C.,
Int. J. Gynae and Obst., 2004, 83., 29-36

M.D., M.Sc.(Med. Micro.) (London), D.L.S.H.T.M., F.M.C.Path

May 2002 : Consultant Pathologist, Department of Health
Head, Virology Unit
St. Luke’s Hospital, Malta


Genetic Relatedness and Diversity of Cryptococcus neoformans strains in the Maltese Islands.
Journal of Clinical Microbiology, Vol 35, No 3 Pgs 751 - 755, March 1997
(American Society of Microbiology)

Aetiological patterns of vulvovaginal candidiasis in Maltese patients.
Debattista N.;Barbara C.;Cuschieri P.; Todaro Luck F.
“Trends in Pathology in Malta”, Page 4, 1996

Yeast Infections and Antifungal Susceptibility Patterns in Malta.
Vella, L.;Barbara C; Cuschieri P; Todaro Luck F.
In “Trends in Pathology in Malta, p.5,1996.

Rotavirus gastroenteritis in children: Antigen detection using enzyme immunoassay techniques.
Barbara C.; Portelli A.
In “Trends in Pathology in Malta , p. 10, 1996.

Molecular ecology of Cryptococcus neoformans Strains in the Maltese Islands.
Todaro Luck F.; Barbara C.; Criseo G.; Gallo M.; Lo Passo C.;
In “Trends in Pathology in Malta, p39, 1996.

Sentinel Surveillance for Influenza like Illnesses in the Maltese Islands.
Falzon D.; Barbara C,; Muscat M.; Soler J K
It- Tabib tal- Familja , July 2000

“Mycoplasma pneumoniae infections in the Maltese Islands.”
Portelli A.;Barbara C.
Maltese Medical Journal, 2000;12(1,2):40

“Diagnosis of leishmaniasis in Maltese dogs with the aid of the polymerase chain reaction”
Headington C.E., Barbara C.H., Lambson B.E., Hart D.T., Barker D.C.
Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. (2002) 96, supplement S1/195-S1/197.

“ West Nile Virus and Arboviruses”, Micallef C. , Barbara C , The Synapse June 2004

“Drug Resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae (DRSP) in the Maltese Islands.” Christianne Micallef, Christopher Barbara, Paul Cuschieri, Robert Cassar. Malta Medical Journal, Vol 16 Issue 02 July 2004

“Isolation of drug-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae in the Maltese Islands” , Micallef C., Barbara C., Cuschieri P., Cassar R.,

Mrs. Rosalie Frendo Radiographer
Diploma in Diagnostic Radiography St. Luke's Hospital GuardaMangia, Malta 1979 - 1982.

Radiographer St Luke's Hospital, GuardaMangia Malta: 1982 -1986.
Radiographer St. Luke's Hospital: 1994 - 1997.
Radiographer St. Philips Hospital: 1998 -

Married to Dr. Stefan L. Frendo (advocate). Two children: Chiara (age16) & Francesco (age 14).

Consultant Paediatrician
Diploma in Child Health - D.C.H.
Royal College of Physicians of London
Member of the Royal College of Physicians of London - M.R.C.P. (U.K.)
Royal College of Physicians of London - March 1993 (at 1st attempt)
Doctor of Philosophy - Ph.D. ‘Congenital Heart Disease In Malta’
University of London - January 1998
Member of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health - M.R.C.P.C.H.
Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health - November 2000
Consultant Paediatrician (Cardiology) and Senior Lecturer, University of Malta.
Paediatric cardiology at the Cardio thoracic Unit,
Formerly Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust, London.

Teddie Attard MLS (University of Malta) MSc BMS (University of Ulster)
Thesis “ a comparative study of some novel and established prognostic indicators in breast carcinoma”
MSc in Biomedical Sciences with distinction in June 2004.

Technologist : Histopathology : Officer in charge of Immunohistochemistry St Luke’s Hospital Malta
Setup of skeletal muscle diagnostic service in Malta in collaboration with the Dubovitz Neuromuscular Unit at Hammersmith London and Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital Oswestry.
New diagnostic techniques in muscle pathology at Hammersmith hospital London.

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