July 15. 2024. 7:06

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Short-staffed Finnish children’s hospital asks Sweden, Denmark for help


Faced with healthcare staff shortages, the Helsinki University Hospital has asked parent if they would be prepared to have their children undergo surgery in Copenhagen or Gothenburg.

The New Children’s Hospital in Helsinki has been unable to meet the legally binding treatment care guarantee of 180 days due to an acute shortage of intensive care unit nurses.

However, now there is a chance for these children to be operated abroad, Jari Petäjä, Director at the New Children’s Hospital, has said.

The worsening situation came to light already last autumn when the Helsinki University Hospital District filed a report to the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira). Back then, as reported by YLE, around 117 paediatric patients were waiting for surgery and over double compared to normal times.

Based on the New Children’s Hospital estimates, the situation has slightly improved and some 85 paediatric patients are queuing up for surgery. The authorities have taken measures to ease the situation, but the effects take some time.

Funding to train more intensive care nurses this year and in 2024 has been increased by €1 million by the Social Affairs and Health Ministry.

(Pekka Vänttinen | EURACTIV.com)