Labor and Health Minister Peep Peterson (SDE) sent a letter to hospital managers this week, after an interim summary of projects that have received EU support revealed that only one hospital had signed a construction contract, while only a few had reached a design agreement Contract.

The others are still preparing design procurement and plan to leave their construction work until next year.

Peterson said: “As a result, we underscore the importance of creating isolation wards to improve health system preparedness and ask that you make the implementation of these activities an immediate priority.”

The ministry says it has decided to monitor more closely from now on, so hospitals must report quarterly, to get information on the progress of ward construction. isolation from hospitals.

Extra isolation wards and ventilation systems are a stipulation of the government’s Covid-19 preparedness plan ahead of the winter months, in a bid to tackle the viral spread, while hospitals have been given full support €12.6 million from the European Regional Development Fund. for this purpose, as well as for other projects such as preparing for long-term power outages.

Just under 11 million euros have been allocated to 16 hospitals for the creation of 146 additional isolation rooms.

Valga, Põlva, Rapla County, Rakvere, Läänemaa, Kuressaare, Narva, South Estonia, Pärnu, Viljandi and Järva County hospitals received Peterson’s letter, as did Regional Hospital for Northern Estonia (PERH ), Tartu University Hospital, West Tallinn Central (LTKH), Tallinn Children’s Hospital and Haapsalu Neurological Rehabilitation Center.

The Ministry of Social Affairs says it expects the first review by September 30.

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