Opposition Reform Party MP Aivar Sõerd, member of the Riigikogu's European Union affairs committee, said he doubts whether the construction of Tallinn Hospital will fit into the schedule that needs to be followed in order to receive €350 million from the European Union.
"A moment ago, we heard at a sitting of the European Union affairs committee that according to the terms of the funds of the EU recovery plan, the construction of Tallinn Hospital must start within three years at the latest," Soerd wrote on social media on Friday.
"Given the amount of time spent on design procurement, including technical procurement, the design of a giant complex and then construction procurement, this deadline is not exactly excessive. Rather, it can be said to be unrealistic.
"The possibility of receipt of €350 million from the EU budget is therefore weak and is based on the fact that so far only the European Commission has been consulted and that so far only a preliminary indication has been received that the construction of the hospital could qualify for the terms of the fund," Soerd said.
"It is noteworthy that this should be the largest investment in the Ratas government's budget strategy document for the next four years. In today's discussion, it was also unclear on which budget line and in what amount the construction of Tallinn Hospital is exactly stated in the budget document. [Finance] Minister [Martin] Helme promised to clarify the matter."
The total cost of the planned Tallinn Hospital is estimated to be up to €500 million. Estonia is going to apply for €380 million of the European Union funding which was created due to the spread of the coronavirus.
The government coalition considers Tallinn Hospital to be the largest investment in the four-year budget strategy. The hospital will treat people from both the capital city and elsewhere in the country.
Mayor of Tallinn Mihhail Kõlvart (Center) has said the city will contribute €100 million to the construction of the hospital. He has said if the new hospital project does not go ahead, the city will need to renovate East-Tallinn and West Tallinn Central Hospitals.
"This is a pretty big project. The number of wards gives an idea of how big the hospital will be. We are talking about 547 single wards, the hospital has a total area of about 140,000 square meters," Kõlvart said.
The hospital will be built in Lasnamäe by Narva Road. When the hospital is completed, the current East-Tallinn and West-Tallinn Central Hospitals will move there. It is planned to start construction of Tallinn Hospital in 2023.
Editor: Helen Wright