East Opposes West on Tallinn Hospital Merger Idea ({{commentsTotal}})

Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

The outcome of the local election in Tallinn could decide the future of two central hospitals, which the Center Party's opponents have said they plan to merge into a single legal entity.

Administrators of East-Tallinn Central Hospital - located the city center, off Liivalaia street - and the West Tallinn hospital on Paldiski road are at loggerheads about whether to merge, uudised.err.ee reported. They pledge they will ultimately abide by the city's decision, but that is about all they agree on.

The West Tallinn hospital's employees say that their personnel oppose a merger. Imbi Moks, the chairman of the board, says that the Reform Party, Social Democrats and IRL should have a viable plan as well as a pledge. "I haven't seen any financial analysis that would prove that it is a good idea and that it would free up funds for medicine."

The East Tallinn hospital counterpart Ralf Allikvee is in support of the merger, saying it is the only way forward.

The merger could affect distribution of EU funds. The Ministry of Social Affairs, which first brought up the merger idea in December, says it plans to prioritize funding to hospitals that "work together in the patients' interests." A change in the legal status could result in changes to the hospitals' agreements with the Health Insurance Fund.

Moks backs smaller hospitals, each with its own corporate identity. She said a merger would not change anything for the better for patients.

But Allikvee said it would create an organizationally more efficient structure that would be more appealing as a workplace for young doctors and ensure better care.

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