In Oct 1962, the RAMC severed its links with Malta and the Navy assumed responsibility for Service hospital facilities on the island.
The 100 bed Royal Naval Hospital at Mtarfa was opened by Lady Dorman on 2 Oct 1970. The ceremony was attended by a small gathering which included the Medical Director-General (Naval) Surgeon Vice Admiral Eric Blackburn Bradbury RN and the Deputy Director General Army Medical Services Maj-Gen Reginald John Gray, a former commanding officer of DBMH.
The naval hospital had modern operating theatres, a casualty and out-patient departments and a maternity unit for personnel of all three services, their families on the island, local troops, and visiting ships.
The Royal Naval Hospital Bighi, completed in 1832, was ideally located on the promontory overlooking the Grand Harbour when most patients were landed from ships. However, once the Naval Medical Services became also responsible for the medical care of the Army and Royal Air Force on the island, as well as wives and children, a more centrally located hospital had to be found. The Naval Hospital at Bighi shut its doors on 22 Sept 1970. The last PMO was Surgeon Captain Cyril T McClintock.
The navy retained the name David Bruce for their hospital. On the front of the building on either side of the naval crown are the emblems of the RAMC and the RAF Medical Service indicating the hospital's tri-service role. The hospital at Bighi was handed over to the Malta Government on 27 Oct 1970.