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The topic of yesterday’s roundtable discussion was premature babies and the standards of care for newborn health

On 17 November, East Tallinn Central Hospital hosted roundtable discussions as part of the World Prematurity Day. Healthcare Minister Tanel Kiik, Minister of the Population Riina Solman, representative of MTÜ Enneaegsed Lapsed (NGO Premature Children) experience counsellor Kadri Sooberg-Aettik, Anni Laas who is the mother of a premature child, representative of the health insurance fund Malle Avarsoo and representatives of East Tallinn Central Hospital – Dr Allikvee, Dr Tamm, Dr Andresson and Dr Tiit-Vesing.

Enneaegsete sünni päeva ümarlaud

The main topic of the roundtable concerned the European Standards of Care for Newborn Health, which were adopted by the European Commission in 2018 and have been approved, among other European countries, by perinatal medicine representatives in Estonia.

The European Standards of Care for Newborn Health (https://newborn-health-standards.org/) help support the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child starting from birth by constituting an internationally binding source for the development and implementation of standards and guidelines.

Policy-makers on the European and national levels, representatives of hospitals, insurance undertakings, trade and patient unions as well as representatives of different industries should work together to put these standards into practice and thus ensure quality, equality and dignity to the smallest among us. This message was also highlighted by the slogan of this year’s World Prematurity Day 'Together for babies born too soon – caring for the future'.

According to Minister of Social Affairs Tanel Kiik, Estonia has one of the highest post-natal survival rates of infants in all of Europe. "Estonia provides excellent obstetrical care and post-natal healthcare," says the Minister. "My sincere thanks goes to all of the doctors, midwives, nurses and healthcare professionals who work hard every day to look after the welfare and health of babies and their mothers. It is important to continue to do everything in our power to ensure that the smallest among us are as healthy as possible, have equal opportunities and enjoy a good quality of life."

Around 800 premature babies are born in Estonia every year, who then have to spend their first days, weeks and even months in a hospital. East Tallinn Central Hospital maternity ward delivers more than 300 premature children every year.