Both students and researchers would benefit from joint university hospital

In the editorial of the journal Eesti Arst, six directors of hospitals of Tartu and Tallinn published their idea to join Tartu University Hospital, Tallinn Children’s Hospital and North Estonia Medical Centre into a consortium, which by 2025 would result in a single university hospital with campuses in Tartu and Tallinn.

According to Dean of the UT Faculty of Medicine Margus Lember, the idea expressed in the statement is worth considering but requires careful thought, “This is an optimisation task. The question is, which activities can be developed in one centre and which areas of responsibility can be shared. Instead of the former competitive relationship, it would now be possible to bring more resource-intensive areas and rare diseases into one hospital to avoid unnecessary duplication. Harmonised quality standards will improve the treatment of patients all over Estonia.”

According to Lember, both researchers and students would benefit from the joint university hospital. “For medical students, the joint university hospital gives additional opportunities to use the Tallinn Children’s Hospital and the North Estonia Medical Centre as study and training bases. Students gain more extensive experience when they work on different cases. For our researchers, there will be an increased number of patients they can use in research. Also, as a result of the consolidation, there will be a joint database of cases. Currently each hospital has their own one.”

“However, we should keep in mind that there are still a number of open-ended questions and the idea and its content needs to be discussed more precisely,” Lember admitted.

According to authors of the statement that was published in the April issue of the journal Eesti Arst, a single university hospital in Estonia is the only sustainable solution that can guarantee the competitive future development of healthcare, clinical studies and research. The statement was made and signed by the CEO of Tartu University Hospital Urmas Siigur, CEO of North Estonia Medical Centre Agris Peedu, CEO of Tallinn Children’s Hospital Katrin Luts, Head of UT Institute of Clinical Medicine Joel Starkopf, Chief Surgeon and Director of the Emergency Surgery Centre of North Estonia Medical Centre and Professor of the Department of Surgery of Tartu University Hospital Peep Talving, and Head of the Neurology and Neurosurgery Department of Tartu University Hospital, our Rector-Elect Toomas Asser.

Further information:
Margus Lember
Dean of the Faculty of Medicine
5331 8600, 731 8600