The City of Tallinn has set itself the objective of establishing a modern health centre in each of the capital's eight city districts, spokespeople for the city said.
According to Tallinn Deputy Mayor Tõnis Mölder (Centre), who is responsible for the social and healthcare fields, the charm of the health centres lies in the close cooperation of family doctors and specialists and supporting medical specialists as well as the variety of healthcare services.
Tallinn's central hospitals are currently working on the preparation and design work for three new health centres.
"The new health centre of the West Tallinn Central Hospital (LTKH) will replace the current Kopli Polyclinic," Mr Mölder said. "One modern health centre of the East Tallinn Central Hospital (ITKH) will be in the Magdaleena Unit, and the other on the medical campus of the Tallinn Hospital to be established in Lasnamäe. According to plans, all three new centres should be completed by the end of 2021."
LTKH board chairwoman Imbi Moks said that the planning of the new health centre is first and foremost being guided by the need to ensure that the centre corresponds to the concept of a primary health centre.
"This means that patients will be seen at the health centre by both family doctors and nurses as well as several medical specialists from the LTKH, as well as physical therapists, visiting nurses, mental health nurses and hopefully also psychologists," Ms Moks. "Dentists will certainly play an important part at the new health centre as well."
According to the hospital board chair, the health centre will also be equipped to conduct the most common procedures, including X-rays, ultrasounds, blood tests and EKGs.
Two centres to cost €5m each
Construction of the health centre slated to replace Kopli Polyclinic, for which LTKH is to receive support from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), is to cost approximately €5 million.
The Magdaleena health centre project is estimated to cost over €4.5 million, €1.66 million of which will come from the state. The goal is to redesign the A, C and D wings of the ITKH's Magdaleena Unit on Pärnu Highway into a primary health centre.
Kersti Reinsalu, a member of the board of the ITKH, said that the ambulatory rehabilitation ward of the Magdaleena Unit is to be significantly expanded, and the centre will begin offering midwife appointments there as well.
"There will be altogether 13 family doctor practices, and conditions will improve for family doctors and patients alike," Ms Reinsalu said.
The Lasnamäe health centre is to be established in cooperation with the ITKH as well. The winning offer in a public procurement for a space-based draft project was submitted to the City of Tallinn by Architecture Workshop Finland Oy. The draft project will be drawn up in parallel with the detailed plan for the properties and surrounding areas of the new Tallinn Hospital and in accordance with the solutions included in the detailed plan.
New facilities, better care
According to Mr Mölder, the premises currently being used by family doctors often need updating or do not meet the conditions necessary for quality work.
"Due to lack of space, family doctors cannot hire assistant doctors, residents or another family nurse," the deputy mayor said. "New and modern buildings, however, will allow for significantly improved room layouts and working conditions that will be comfortable for both patients as well as employees."
Last month, Mustamäe health centre celebrated its first year of operation, and feedback from patients has been very positive.
"Medical specialists held approximately 25,000 appointments there over the past year, to which we can add dental clinic, women's clinic and psychiatric centre appointments," Mr Mölder highlighted. "It is also important that the state helps and supports the establishment of new health centres, as ensuring high quality healthcare services and improving the accessibility of medical care is important in all regions."
Editor: Aili Vahtla