Narva needs additional €50 million to build new hospital

Narva Hospital.
Narva Hospital. Source: Sergei Stepanov/ERR

The city of Narva wants to construct a new hospital building. However, as things stand, only around one third of the funds required to do so, are available. The city needs an additional €50 million in order to complete the work.

At present, €38 million of EU funding is available for the modernization of some of Narva's hospital buildings. €18 million of this has been earmarked for the insulation of the main building, which is almost fifty years old, leaving a further €20 million for the redevelopment of a new active treatment wing.

However, the total cost of that redevelopment work, including fittings and fixtures is expected to reach as much as €70 million. This means, Narva is €50 million short of the amount required to complete it.

"Well, we are counting on the support of the state," said Katri Raik, Mayor of Narva and chair of the hospital's board.

"The problem is, that if we don't build a new hospital, then we will have to close the old hospital for the amount of time it would take to renovate it, because you can't operate on people and build a hospital in the same building at the same time. That wouldn't work out well," said Raik.

"Our plan would be to go down the road of building a new hospital, but also keep the old hospital, renovate it and use it as a health and social center," she added.

The Narva hospital serves an area with a population of 70,000 people. Minister of Health and Labor Peep Peterson said, that, for such a large number of patients, it would make more sense to provide suitable treatment facilities locally, rather than consider transferring them to other hospitals.

"Even though Narva Hospital is in the general hospital category, it is of strategic importance to Estonia. Surely the Ministry of Social Affairs will accept Narva's application for €50 million from the national budget strategy," said Peterson adding that the government would definitely be prepared to defend it. Peterson did subsequently concede however, that the likelihood of the application being successful remains slim.

"So, if this government cannot make the final decision, there will at least be an opportunity to work to ensure that the next coalition makes the necessary decisions," Peterson added.

Narva still has almost six years left to find the additional €50 million needed to build the hospital.

"The site for the new hospital is there, we don't need a detailed plan, we are really just talking about the design and construction," said Raik. "This kind of work can, ideally, be completed in three years. But we clearly must not delay and (so) we are of course having various discussions with the state and considering different loan options," she said.

Neither Minister of Health and Labor Peep Peterson (SDE) or Mayor of Narva Katri Raik, ruled out the possibility of including government representatives as part of the hospital's board, in order to speed up its construction.


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Editor: Michael Cole

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