East Tallinn Central Hospital resumes all scheduled treatments

The triage tent outside East-Tallinn Central Hospital.
The triage tent outside East-Tallinn Central Hospital. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

East Tallinn Central Hospital has resumed scheduled treatment in all specialties, patients are admitted on the basis of the existing waiting list.

In the spring, when four COVID-19 departments were opened at East Tallinn Central Hospital, scheduled treatment had almost completely stopped in internal medicine and 80 percent in surgical specialties, spokespeople for the hospital said.

"The waiting times for scheduled treatment have been extended by the period of operation of the COVID-19 departments. The resumption of scheduled work for patients is based on the existing waiting list," Andrus Arak, head of the hospital's surgery clinic, said. He added that the clinic is approaching its maximum capacity according to the national de-escalation plan and normal work in the surgical departments has resumed from Monday.

Andres Koop, head of the orthopedic center of the hospital, said that the center is currently fully operational. "As of May 31, we can use the department's entire bed fund. COVID-19 patients were treated on the premises of the orthopedic department for 44 days, and we could not perform the planned treatment practically at all then. The treatment of patients with emergency trauma was also different from normal practice. Compared to the spring of last year, when the scheduled work was also suspended but the department was still meant for orthopedic patients, we have performed over 200 fewer surgeries, considering the time before COVID-19, we have performed over 400 fewer surgeries so far," Koop said.

"Restrictions on scheduled work took place in parallel with the opening of COVID-19 departments. More than 50 percent of the beds were allocated to the COVID-19 departments at the surgery clinic. Scheduled work was limited in all surgical disciplines. Emergency and oncological operations were not postponed," Arak said.

In the internal medicine clinic, scheduled treatment has been at a minimum for the last six months. "Each specialty reviewed their patients' plans and compiled a waiting list: if the patient's condition required faster hospitalization, this was also done during the pandemic. There were no interruptions in oncology," Kai Sukles, head of the internal medicine clinic, said. "More broadly, no patients in dire need of hospitalization were denied hospitalization in any of the specialties. Now, each specialty is looking at its waiting list and people are being taken in one after the other: those who ended up waiting are now admitted first," she added.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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