Heads of the clinics of the Tartu University Hospital (TÜK) are expressing lack of confidence in chairman of the board Priit Eelmäe after he announced a decision to lay off all clinic directors on Wednesday.
Following the statement, heads of 16 of the hospital's 18 clinics are calling for the chairman's departure.
Doctors in charge of the hospital's various clinics, all of whom also work as professors at the University of Tartu medical faculty, accuse Eelmäe of trying to abolish the positions of clinic heads.
The letter sent to the hospital's supervisory board reads that Eelmäe describes the plan as a measure for the implementation of doctors' management career model at the hospital. "Despite promises of inclusive management and cooperation with the university, steps to implement the management career model have not been discussed with us or the hospital's partners at the university (medical training department, clinical medicine institute)," heads of the clinics write.
"Priit Eelmäe's recent actions and behavior have abolished all manner of trust between the management and unit managers – heads of clinics, medical services directors. Over the past year and a half, this distrust has only deepened despite our best efforts," the letter reads.
Information available to ERR suggests the new career model was being shaped in cooperation between the director and clinic managers and that cooperation was successful until recently. Because the plan still required additional details and an implementation roadmap, heads of clinics expected the work to continue in the new year. They were handed layoff notices instead.
University of Tartu Dean of Medicine Margus Lember, who was among those who signed the address, said that to the best of his knowledge, the hospital's supervisory board was neither aware nor agreed to the layoffs.
The Tartu University Hospital is founded by the Estonian state, the city of Tartu and the University of Tartu. The hospital serves as a training base for the university's medical students.
Editor: Marcus Turovski