Estonia to build military and disaster medicine center in Tartu

Mockup of the new military and disaster medicine center to be built at Raadi in Tartu.
Mockup of the new military and disaster medicine center to be built at Raadi in Tartu. Source: ECDI

The Estonian Center for Defense Investments (ECDI) announced a design and construction procurement for the establishment of a new military and disaster medicine center at the military campus in Raadi, on the outskirts of Tartu. The new center will bring together the Estonian Defense Forces' (EDF) medical center, its central medical depot as well as the space needed for disaster medicine training.

The planned new center will significantly improve military medical training conditions. Peeter Karja, Southern Portfolio manager at the ECDI, said that the center will include simulation halls that will allow participants to simulate how to provide first aid to severely injured patients in combat conditions.

Currently, such training is being conducted at a temporary container campus in Raadi.

"Right now, simulations are being held, figuratively speaking, in classrooms built from [shipping] containers and where the lights are flicked on and off," Karja said. "That's the current level. The new level will mean that we'll have more than 1,000 square meters of warehouse space where we can produce water, light and sound effects in order to conduct simulations as realistically as possible."

Ukrainian forces are currently trying to break through dense Russian minefields. The new center will theoretically allow for participants to practice providing first aid under such simulated conditions as well.

"That means we would bring it sand and put down some kind of mine-type things, add lighting and sound effects and maybe even spray some water [on participants' clothes] to make conditions as realistic as possible," he cited as an example.

Karja noted that similar exercises are conducted out in the terrain as well, but on site they could rehearse these situations over and over again indoors.

The ECDI official noted that the proximity of both the Estonian Military Academy and Tartu Health Care College played a role in the location of the center, adding that this proximity would allow medical students to undergo military and disaster medicine training in the future as well.

The EDF's rehabilitation center and medical depot will likewise be consolidated at the Raadi center, both of which are currently operating either in rental spaces or in poor conditions. Karja noted that the rehabilitation center is currently located at Seli Manor in Rapla County, which is costly to maintain.

"Seli hasn't seen any investments in several years," he explained. "There are heritage protection requirements involved, and all of that is very costly for us. The most recent renos there have essentially been just paint jobs."

The health center being built at Raadi, however, will allow the EDF to provide medical rehabilitation in a modern and dedicated environment.

Also to be built at the Raadi campus alongside the new medical center is an administrative building whose cornerstone was recently laid already. According to Karja, construction can begin on the EDF's vocational training and entrance building at the end of the year as well.

Over the next few years, the state plans to invest more than €35 million in the Raadi military campus.

The construction contract for the new military and disaster medicine center is slated to be signed at the end of this year, with construction to begin in the second quarter of next. The center is due to be completed by spring 2025.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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