Rural Hospital Fights for Survival ({{commentsTotal}})

Source: Photo: ERR

Officials are working to save a county hospital in Rapla from demise by switching it from a foundation to a public limited company and hopefully finding a large Tallinn hospital to serve as a strategic investor.

About 50 kilometers south of Tallinn, Rapla is a town of just 5,200, but it serves as a center for the surrounding county. Its hospital is suffering from a lack of revenue and aging medical personnel. At a meeting yesterday, municipal governments from the surrounding area agreed to support negotiations with potential partner hospitals, reported ETV.

"It is unavoidable that we must go forward in cooperation with someone else, and that is the only way to preserve a hospital and medical support for the people of Rapla County," said Rapla County Hospital's head doctor, Aili Laasner.

In a proposed partnership, the Rapla hospital would provide its infrastructure as assets to a joint company, in return expecting a 900,000-euro capital injection plus investment in medical equipment.

The hospital's supervisory board is in talks with the state-owned North Estonia Regional Hospital and the Tallinn-owned East Tallinn Central Hospital.

Officials said they will demand a degree of independence from a future parent hospital to ensure that county residents have access to good quality services.

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