Tallinn hospital's second underground floor may lead to new EU negotiations
Plans to build a second underground floor at Tallinn's new mega-hospital may lead to additional negotiations with the EU, which is financing the structure, the Ministry of Finance has said. Decisions must be made in the coming months.
The new hospital will cost €538 million and EU funding amounts to €280 million of the total. Last month, after Russia attacked hospitals in Ukraine, it was suggested a second underground floor could be built which would allow the venue to be used in a crisis situation.
However, this will increase the construction time but the EU has strict funding deadlines and the new hospital still needs to be completed by 2026 as some of the money comes from the coronavirus recovery fund.
Ministry of Finance Adviser Triin Tomingas said extending the construction time will break the current agreement so an extension will likely need to be negotiated.
"In that case, the likely scenario is that we will dismantle the recovery plan and negotiate an updated timetable with the European Commission," she said.
Additionally, extra funding is needed but it is not known how much will come from the EU, Tallinn or the government.
Tomingas said a decision on the second underground floor will be made in the coming months.
Tallinn's City Chancellor Kairi Vaher said if the 22,000 square meter floor is built it will be possible to move 500 beds and the operating theater below ground.
She said Tallinn "sincerely hopes" the state can find the extra funding, adding it will also generate extra revenue for the state.
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Editor: Helen Wright