Kuressaare, Narva hospitals to be expanded with EU funding

Kuressaaare Hospital on the Western Estonian island of Saaremaa.
Kuressaaare Hospital on the Western Estonian island of Saaremaa. Source: Margus Muld/ERR

Located at opposite ends of Estonia, Kuressaare Hospital and Narva Hospital are both set to be expanded with new additions in the coming years, thanks to nearly €40 million in funding each from European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIFs).

By 2028, Kuressaare Hospital, located on the major Western Estonian island of Saaremaa, will be even longer than it is now. Initial plans call for the construction of a 5,000 square meter new treatment wing.

"There's a clear need for another addition, around 5,000 square meters, which, like the current hospital, would be three stories," explained hospital director Märt Kõlli. "And six blocks will be built across three floors, three blocks of which will house curative internal medical care. One block will go to day treatment [partial-hospitalization care], one block to emergency room dialysis, and one will be an alternative block, where we'd love to involve Kuressaare Dental Clinic, i.e. dental services."

Narva Hospital, in Estonia's northeastern border city, is set to expand by around the same amount of space.

Minister of Health Riina Sikkut (SDE) said that the already previously planned development of Kuressaare and Narva hospitals are entirely justified, however, apart from Viljandi Hospital, which is already under construction, and Kuressaare and Narva hospitals, no major investments in county hospitals are currently planned for the years ahead.

"We have gradually updated and modernized Estonia's hospital network using ESIFs," Sikkut said.

"Viljandi Hospital is the first real brand new hospital to be built," she continued. "And now it's Narva and Kuressaare's turn. The decisions — or plan — actually go back further. And looking back now, considering Saaremaa's [COVID-19 pandemic] experience, power outages, the spread of stomach bugs, the risks appear to be high, and given the insular nature of the island, it must be better prepared."

Kuressaare Hospital doesn't intend to increase its 150-bed capacity with the addition. The space currently occupied by the Internal Medicine Department, located in the hospital completed in 1938, will remain at the disposal of several support services.

"The current working version is approximately €40 million that the renovation and modernization of this complex may cost," Kõlli said.

The Ministry of Social Affairs hopes to sign financing contracts with the hospitals for these works before the year is out.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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