230 years of medical care – from an infirmary for the poor to East Tallinn Central Hospital

15. October 2015

This week, the hospital in Estonia that has operated longest in the same location, namely, East Tallinn Central Hospital, celebrates its 230th anniversary. The foremost highlight of the anniversary year is a festive jubilee gala held today in the Estonia theatre and concert hall. Many adjustments have been made due to the twists and turns of time, but Central Hospital, always faithfully following its course, has survived numerous changes.

In 1785, in the territory of the present-day hospital, on the banks of what was back then called the Härjapea River, townspeople started to receive medical care in the very first farm building opened to the public for this purpose. At the time, nobody could even imagine what would come of all that, but today we know that East Tallinn Central Hospital has survived over the course of several centuries due to such qualities as grit and strength.

“I would like to express my gratitude to all former employees of the hospital, our teachers and role models, from whom we have gained practical knowledge since the time we came to East Tallinn Central Hospital, taking the very first steps along our career path. Also, to those who have worked here for 30, 40 or even 50 years. Working with our partners, synergy is created and mutual trust carries us forward as well as helps take better care of our patients. We have got from the past to the present day, a celebratory day at that, but what does the future have in store for us? It is clear that regardless of the name or location of the hospital, the essence of East Tallinn Central Hospital will continue to live in us, its employees. Lots of great, young doctors and nurses are working in our hospital and this gives me the confidence to believe that we will be able to continue celebrating the anniversary of our hospital in ten, twenty and thirty years from now,” says Ralf Allikvee, Chairman of the Board of East Tallinn Central Hospital.

The 230th anniversary celebrations held this week give witness to the hospital’s longevity and continuity. Currently, East Tallinn Central Hospital is a world-class medical institution using most modern treatment methods available and employing top specialists who ensure that medical care provided here is as good as anywhere else in Europe – after all, the number of incoming foreign patients shows a stable year-on-year increase.

In 2014, a corneal endothelial transplantation using a novel, considerably more effective method was carried out for the very first time in the Eye Clinic of East Tallinn Central Hospital. In the global context, this is an innovative corneal transplantation technique, ushering in a new era in eye surgery. The surgery was to save the eye of a 75-year old patient and restore the patient’s eyesight.