Joanna Delia / People & Skin

People & Skin Owner Joanna Delia has said that Malta cannot risk losing the reputation it has built over the years in healthcare by ignoring and failing to address illegal practices, speaking in particular about unlicensed cosmetic procedures. Thus, the sector needs “national level systems and departments which work.”

Dr Delia founded medico-cosmetics company People & Skin in 2015, having gained various years of experience in the industry. She is also General Secretary of the Aesthetic Physicians Association of Malta (APAM).

Her comments came as part of’s end-of-year series, where she stressed the need for Malta to actively uphold EU health standards, avoiding what she described as “cringe-worthy” and “frustrating” instances in the healthcare sector, as was the case in 2023.

In recent years, there have been reports of instances where customers were left annoyed by poorly performed cosmetics surgery, and in 2023, APAM revealed that doctors see approximately “one to eight botched cases a day”. Badly done cosmetics surgeries, particularly in the face, can potentially lead to infections, ulcers, swelling, and blindness, among other consequences.

Due to these cases, together with other developments in the healthcare sector, Dr Delia remarked that 2023 proved to be a year characterised by “frustration, patience, and trust.”

She explained that the sector has constantly been lobbying to regulate a growing number of unlicensed and illegal individuals injecting medicine into people’s faces and thus endangering their health.

“From non-doctors claiming they are doctors, to others blatantly advertising injectable treatments using unregulated medical devices bought online. It is very frustrating when the authorities turn a blind eye and only act once there is a tragedy,” Dr Delia said. She added that in the meantime, doctors like her are faced with the aftermath of these illegal procedures.

Looking ahead to the coming 12 months, she said that Malta “needs to have national level systems and departments which work”.

“We cannot risk serious damage to our reputation, in healthcare especially, by ignoring and not stopping illegal practices. There has to be better regulation, which will make the field of medical aesthetics more professional and most importantly, safe,” she affirmed.

Dr Delia also urged Malta’s Health Standards Department to “actively uphold” the EU health standards regulating medical aesthetics. This must be done so that doctors can work with the high standards that the local healthcare sector is used to, and to thus “maintain Malta’s good reputation in healthcare” and to “protect the safety of residents.”

The interview then shifted away from her work in medical aesthetics to focus more on her personal life, particularly highlighting which personal accomplishment from 2023 she is most proud of.

During the past year, Dr Delia managed to widen her property portfolio and invested in a house in the countryside, where she can “escape to and relax.” “It is an investment in my family’s and my own well-being, rather than for future profit,” she said. She started renovating this space and had the opportunity to invite family and friends over to relax and enjoy some time together, “surrounded by peace and greenery.”

“I plan to slowly convert the space into an art residency where artists ranging from visual artists, to musicians, composers, and writers can go and find inspiration and be productive while taking a break from day-to-day life,” Dr Delia continued.

Additionally, 2023 proved to be challenging for her due to the anxiety surrounding the diagnosis of a close family member. However, she is grateful for the power of science, as the individual is now benefitting from successful chemotherapy. The initial anxiety she felt shows how “sceptical we are sometimes, but how important it is to trust in our good medical doctors and the teams in our national health service,” she remarked.

When asked about how she spent her New Year, Dr Delia said that she visited a friend in the Caribbean, and spent New Year’s Eve with her family in Panama City.

“I am a summer person, and I am very grateful to have the opportunity to run away to a warm destination! When there, I spent my time reading and clearing my head, preparing myself for the new year. I feel renewed after these trips and better able to face any challenges which come my way,” she added.

Wrapping up, Dr Delia added that she intends to work on improving her work-life balance in 2024, even though she is set to launch a new company, bringing with it added responsibilities.

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People & Skin Owner Joanna Delia

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