Heads of the Estonian Health Board plan to move its offices out of the agency's Paldiski maantee building to make room for laboratories.
Director of the Health Board Birgit Lao and Katrin Idla, adviser to the Ministry of Social Affairs undersecretary for healthcare, introduced the plan to merge state laboratories during a recent meeting at the ministry.
"The Health Board will stop offering food-realted services, which will put an end to duplication of services that was among the driving reasons for a common state laboratory. The Health Board has consulted with the Estonian Environmental Studies Center and both are interested in ending duplication and offering joint services. This could culminate in contracts in the second quarter of next year," the meeting's minutes read.
Currently scattered laboratories could be brought together in the Health Board's Paldiski mnt building that is perfect for the purpose but expensive as office space. "The Health Board headquarters was constructed with laboratory space in mind and is an expensive option for hosting offices. We will present to the Ministry of Social Affairs the idea of hosting different legal persons' laboratories that would share services and infrastructure. Such a so-called Paldiski mnt laboratory building would bring Tallinn's laboratories together in one place without merging them."
The building on Paldiski maantee last made the news in the summer of 2021 when its cold storage facilities malfunctioned that caused 100,000 doses of vaccines and other drugs to spoil. A state investigative committee concluded that the malfunction was likely caused by a long period of hot weather and design and construction flaws in combination with lackluster supervision. It was highlighted that cold storage was not built according to the so-called room within a room principle that is considered good practice for such buildings.
Editor: Marcus Turovski