Despite not yet having a response from the state regarding funding, the City of Tallinn has decided to move ahead with including a second basement level in plans for the major new Tallinn Hospital complex, Tallinn Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart (Center) said Wednesday.
The city had to make a decision regarding whether or not to include the additional basement level, Kõlvart said, as otherwise they would have to make changes to the project later, which would cost them additional time and money.
"It needs to be planned in any case that this additional floor is possible," he explained. "And considering the tight schedule, we can't drag on this. The decision in principle has been made. Our expectation is that the state will finance the additional floor, as we see that there is a national need for it, nevermind the fact that there is a national need for the entire hospital project."
According to the Tallinn mayor, not a single hospital in Estonia currently has the capacity to take its patients to a fully equipped basement level in the event of an emergency.
"Not one hospital in Estonia has the possibility, where it is prepared with energy sources as well as oxygen sources and the supplies necessary to establish additional beds or take beds below ground in the event of an emergency," he said. "Unfortunately, recent crises have shown that this need can develop at any time, whether as a result of an epidemic or of war. Thus we decided that we can't actually not take advantage of this opportunity, because if we don't decide this now, then the next opportunity may not be until decades from now, if ever."
Kõlvart said that Estonia's capital city expects the state to provide €50 million for the construction of an additional basement level and will support the Tallinn Hospital project in general with another €100 million.
He noted that currently, €100 million is slated to go to the state in VAT during construction of the hospital, which means that the Estonian government wouldn't have to make a decision regarding additional financial support, but rather forgo its additional revenue. "And if the project gets even more expensive, then those additional expenses will go to the state," he added. "This is the formula we offered the state, but there's no answer."
Kõlvart has previously said that the master project for the major new hospital should be completed by 2023, after which construction procurements can be announced. Planning work is already underway.
Tallinn Hospital is projected to cost a total of €537 million, with €450 million going to planning, design and construction and another €70 to be invested in equipment. The City of Tallinn is hoping to receive €280 million in funding from the European Commission's Recovery and Resilience Facility.
The hospital, which is to be built in Tallinn's Lasnamäe District at Narva mnt 129, is scheduled to be completed in 2027. The new complex will merge the current East Tallinn Central Hospital (ITK) and West Tallinn Central Hospital (LTK).
Editor: Aili Vahtla