TALLINN - The Estonian Ministry of Social Affairs has sent to a round of approvals support conditions under which altogether nearly 25 million euros is to be allocated for investments in hospitals' infrastructure in order to improve preparedness for health care crises.
"We are investing in the modernization of infrastructure of the hospitals in the hospital network development plan to improve the health care system's capability to react to crises and ensure the functionality of the system both during outbreaks of infection and more broadly," Minister of Health and Labor Tanel Kiik said.
"The purpose of the support is to improve the resilience of hospitals in the hospital network development plan, boost the availability of health care services and ensure the health care system's preparedness for possible future crises," he added.
Funds from REACT-EU (Recovery Assistance for Cohesion and the Territories of Europe) will be used for renovations in North Estonia Medical Center, University of Tartu Hospital, Jarva County and Hiiumaa hospitals, Kuressaare Hospital and South Estonian Hospital. Of the total budget of the project, around 38 percent will be spent on achieving energy savings.
"In regional hospitals, the plan is to modernize depreciated patient wards to improve patients' treatment and reception conditions and create modern isolation conditions," Kiik said.
Investments are also to be made towards improving hospital buildings' energy efficiency to reduce negative environmental effects, increase longevity and reduce hospitals' fixed costs.
The Estonian government on April 29 approved the distribution of REACT-EU funds, whereby over 88 million euros is to be allocated for health care. REACT-EU funding is used for financing coronavirus vaccination and testing, adapting general care homes to better prevent the spread of infectious diseases, increasing hospitals' functionality and crisis preparedness and conducting coronavirus monitoring studies.
REACT-EU was created to support the exit from the coronavirus crisis and the green, digital and resilient recovery of the economy. This funding is a top up to 2014-2020 programs and can be used until 2023.