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The first activity of the project is a National research to identify health inequalities and highlight the social determinants of health. The Superintendence of Public Health within the Ministry for Health has commissioned research services from Ernst and Young (EY) Malta, through a public tender as part of the ESF 02.065 project ‘Establishing a National Platform to Address Social Determinants of Health’, to conduct quantitative research for an in-depth analysis on social determinants of health in Malta. This is required to fill in the research gaps and inform on how social determinants and the resulting health inequalities can be addressed within the local scenario. This project is worth € 2.2 million and is co-financed by the European Social Fund under scheme of European Union funds for the period 2014-2020.

The National Survey on Social Determinants of Health aims to generate information like that generated on an international scale in the Review of Social Determinants and the Health Divide in the WHO European Regions (2013) report. It is designed to identify, document and review social determinants in Malta and the resulting health inequalities among the Maltese population.

The main objectives of the study are: to identify, document and review the health inequalities situation in Malta; outline the main social determinants of health and their impact on health; identifying specific vulnerable groups and quantify the problem. The study also aims to analyse and document the current policy response to the health inequalities and to submit reasoned evidence-based proposals for action in the areas where gaps/inequalities have been identified.

Over the coming weeks around 5,000 randomly selected individuals will be receiving an introductory letter from the Superintendence of Public Health as an invitation to participate in this survey through a one-to-one interview. These individuals will be contacted by telephone to set an appointment if they are willing to participate. This survey will be anonymised after the interview, no individual replies will be shared, and it will be completed by a trained interviewer, having a self-completed section for some of the topics. During the interview the topics to be addressed will include: socio-demographic characteristics, employment, education, health status, health behaviours, mental and sexual health, nutrition and physical activity.


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