Magdalena Outpatient Waiting Room
2 Aug 2023
Revitalising Estonia’s healthcare
Since 2006, NIB has financed six hospital-related projects in Estonia, totalling EUR 138 million. These funds have supported healthcare initiatives, enabling hospitals to upgrade facilities and elevate the standard of care for patients. This summer, NIB attended the opening ceremony of one of these facilities to witness the impact of financing healthcare infrastructure at first hand.
In 2022, NIB provided a twelve-year EUR 15 million loan for the East Tallinn Central Hospital hospital to finance the new emergency medical centre (EMC) and the renovation of the Magdalena Outpatient Clinic. On 30 May, the newly reconstructed state-of-the-art facilities were opened to the public.
“There were three major changes in the hospital upgrade: the renovation of the emergency department, the introduction of new equipment, and the transformation of the outpatient clinic. All these improvements have enhanced the quality of service for both patients and doctors,” says Tarmo Bakler, Chairman of the Board of East Tallinn Central Hospital, whom we met at the clinic’s opening.
Bakler personally guided us around the hospital, explaining the key highlights of the renovation. As we explored the different floors, it became evident how patient-centred the design was, with private rooms providing a sense of comfort and privacy. Among the unique features, the hospital hosts a rehabilitation swimming pool – a rare addition to any hospital.
Features like these would not have come to mind when looking at the clinic’s surroundings. When approaching the new Magdalenda Outpatient Clinic and EMC in Tallinn, there is an intriguing contrast between the newly renovated structures and the old Soviet-era buildings in the area. Since the latter’s construction, Estonia’s healthcare system has made remarkable strides.
Enhancing efficiency and services
Financing from NIB and other institutions has played a pivotal role in Estonia’s healthcare transformation over the last 20 years. These investments have fostered the necessary resources and infrastructure required for the nation’s healthcare goals.
“We’re happy that the Nordic Investment Bank, which was one of the banks we sought financing from, found good solutions to providing credit on terms that were in line with our needs,” comments Tarmo Bakler.
During the ceremony, stakeholders delivered speeches to an enthusiastic audience of healthcare professionals. The upgrades in the hospital fuelled excitement among doctors, nurses and staff members.
“The hospital’s multidisciplinary nature, new equipment, and renovated spaces create a favourable environment for departments to deliver quality healthcare services,” says Erekle Dzotsenidze, head of the ear, nose and throat department at the East Tallinn Central Hospital.
He says the modernised facilities not only improve healthcare outcomes but also create a desirable work environment for staff. “The recent investments and upgrades will have a significant impact on the recruitment and retention of doctors,” Dzotsenidze adds.
The inauguration emphasised the growth and progress of Estonia’s healthcare system through collaboration between medical centres, acting as a catalyst for continuous improvement.
When asked about further development, Bakler stresses the importance of financing. “The Estonian hospital network needed and still needs investment. Larger Estonian hospitals are seeking institutional loans like the one provided by the Nordic Investment Bank.”
Also in May, the Tartu University Hospital Foundation inaugurated a new Children and ENT department. The new buildings house a modern surgery centre, replacing outdated facilities with state-of-the-art technology. Collaborative efforts enhance individual medical centres and contribute to Estonia’s healthcare system advancement through cooperation, resource-sharing and embracing modern technologies. As with the East Tallinn Central Hospital, the upgrades were supported by NIB’s financing.
With such investments, Estonia has transitioned from resource shortages, inadequate facilities and administrative inefficiencies to a healthcare system that is modern, efficient and patient-centred. The strides of the country’s healthcare sector not only symbolise the triumph over the Soviet years but also signify a broader transformation.