EASO Patient Council Member: Rita Sammut-Buontempo

Rita Sammut Buontempo

Rita, it’s great to speak with you. Please introduce yourself and tell us a bit about yourself:

My life has always been focused on study and work commitments, and later on, family life. This makes me sound very boring; but I’m not, honestly! Just very stress-prone, particularly until I gave up full-time employment. Now I work a reduced work week. The money is not too good, but I think my health has improved slightly.

Tell us about your country and where you live:

Malta is the country where I was born and bred; and I love it in spite of its defects, and the sometimes ‘silly’ attitudes of certain natives (and ex-pats!). It is a small country with big potential. Malta is a small island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, with a great historical and cultural heritage,  moderate weather (except in July and August, when it is very hot – but you can always go swimming !), beautiful sea, a great lifestyle and is still relatively safe.

Rita please share with us some of your favourite activities, hobbies and interests:

I love the visual arts, swimming, reading and writing – and at the moment, I am involved in a number of small projects and am going quietly crazy !

What has your personal experience of obesity been like?

I was a slim child and a slim young adult; I started putting on weight in my early to mid  twenties, and the weight continued to pile on. I was never diagnosed with “morbid obesity” but do have a clinical diagnosis of obesity this resulted in an ensuing diagnosis of T2 diabetes.

Do you have any reflection to share on the Patient Council Summit in Milano?

A great group of wonderful and warm people; I was so happy to meet the group. We also worked hard!

How do you hope to advocate for patients with obesity in the future in Malta?

It has always been in my nature to try and help others, hopefully I can use this skill as an advocate.