Protests in Narva against hospital’s plan to give up pediatric ward ({{commentsTotal}})

People outside of Narva's city council protesting against the planned closing of Narva Hospital's pediatric ward. Dec. 1, 2016. Source: (Sergei Stepanow/ ERR)

Protesters assembled before the Narva city council on Thursday to express their disagreement with the closing down of the pediatric ward at Narva hospital. The management of the hospital said that they were not about to stop providing medical services for children, but that there were not enough patients to justify keeping the ward open.

“I’ve taken my child to the hospital four times, and the patients’ rooms were always full, but we’re told that the rooms are half empty. That’s a lie,” one of the protesters said to ETV’s “Aktuaalne Kaamera” newscast. “There are 60,000 residents in Narva, a separate children’s ward, wonderful doctors, but they want to leave us without them.”

Member of the hospital’s management, Olev Silland, found that the protesters were overreacting. “This exaggerated reaction, that something bad is happening to the children, I can’t agree with that. Some of the people have likely been led to believe that the pediatric ward will be closed down, and they don’t want to understand that the service will still be offered, just in a different area,” Silland said.

Closing its separate pediatric ward will save the hospital 127,000 euros per year, the management says. There are not enough children to justify keeping a whole separate department open. According to the hospital’s plan, in the future children will be cared for alongside adults in Narva Hospital.

The protesters have so far collected some 3,000 signatures to petition against the closing of the hospital's pediatric ward.

Editor: Editor: Dario Cavegn

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