Tallinn medics and officials seek quick solution to emergency room problems

Tallinn Emergency Medical Services vehicles.
Tallinn Emergency Medical Services vehicles. Source: Tallinna Kiirabi

Representatives of Tallinn hospitals and the capital's emergency medical service (Tallinna Kiirabi) met with state officials on Wednesday in an attempt to find solutions to the situation, which has arisen in recent months, whereby ambulances have been unable to transfer patients quickly to emergency rooms.

Currently, one in three patients taken to hospitals in the Estonian capital by ambulance has been forced to wait longer than the maximum 30 minutes outlined by state regulations.

The hiring of extra nurses to work in emergency rooms has been highlighted as one way to help alleviate the situation. However, there are also other factors to consider.

"We definitely need to increase the bed capacity in emergency departments to accommodate the patients," said Taavet Reimers, chief operating officer of Tallinn Emergency Medical Service (Tallinna Kiirabi).

"Another thing is, that patients ought to be transferred to the hospital. The internal workflow of hospitals is the number one issue for the emergency medical service at the moment," Reimers added.

"With the hospitals, we have discussed the possible expansion of the arrangements for organizing back-up staff, as well as an in increase in the number of triage nurses, which will definitely help the in-hospital workflow," said Heidi Alasepp, deputy secretary general at the Ministry of Social Affairs.

"The Health Board (Terviseamet) has initiated its own procedure to find out what the causes of the long waiting times are and how best to address them," Alasepp, said.


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Editor: Michael Cole

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