The International Affairs and Policy Development Directorate (IAPD) is one of the directorates within the Department for Policy in Health in the Ministry for Health (MFH). The IAPD falls within the remit of the Director General for Health Policy, who also holds the role of Chief Medical Officer. The Directorate serves as a coordination hub for the exchange of health-related external communications reaching the Ministry for Health from key EU Institutions, European Union Member States and International bodies, such as the World Health Organisation. It processes communication channelled through the Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs and Trade (MFET) and works in close collaboration with this Ministry on various matters, including on bilateral relations, agreements and diplomatic visits. The IAPD is engaged in the preparation of briefings for the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council configuration (EPSCO) and carries out the preparatory work and consolidation of policy ahead of the participation in high-level and technical international events.


The key objectives of the IAPD include:

Acting as a stakeholder in the development of health-related policies being led by the specific departments and identifying key areas in line with the policies formulated by the Government of the day.

  • Promoting the advancement of Government policy by sharing developments in international best practice; supported by evidence-based information, reflected by consultations with the relevant stakeholders concerned.
  • Ensuring that all obligations entered into by the Health Ministry, on behalf of the Government as an EU Member State are adhered to within the set time-frames.
  • Promoting the development of bilateral activities with other countries, seeking opportunities for fostering greater collaboration and ensuring compliance with bilateral and multilateral agreements concerning health.


The IAPD is responsible for coordinating Malta’s participation in EU structures and assists in the following processes;

  • Preparation of Memoranda regarding health-related proposals made by the European Commission.
  • Drawing up of Instruction Notes required for expert level meetings.
  • Coordination in the compilation of questionnaires and consultation processes, leading to the consolidation of Malta’s position in health-related matters.
  • Responding to queries, including those coming from the authorities of EU Member States, various EU structures and local and international organizations.
  • Coordination of the transposition and notification of EU related legislation and responses to infringement proceedings.
  • Providing clearance of non-technical reports to the European Commission.
  • Providing information of updates about EU legislation to the relevant MFH departments.