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Tampere hospital suffers devastating moisture damage

Part of Tampere University Hospital may need to be demolished.

Tampereen yliopistollisen sairaalan pääsisäänkäynti
Two of Tampere University Hospital's wings are harbouring bacteria. Image: Kirsi Matson-Mäkelä / Yle

The main building of the Tampere University Hospital is officially under threat of demolition after administrators discovered disastrous moisture damage throughout the structure.

Chief of the Pirkanmaa Hospital District Rauno Ihalainen told Yle that the demolition of the main "A" building is beginning to look highly likely. The main wing, built in 1962, is protected by the city, which will affect the razing plans.

According to Ihalainen, the hospital has been tracking the poor condition of both the A and B wings for some time, having first detected troubles early last year. At the time, Pirkanmaa health care administrators were forced to evacuate the Tampere University Hospital's emergency room.

Demolishing the A wing would be cheaper than renovating, officials say.

"But we could convert the tower structure of the B wing into an office block," Ihalainen said. "The demands for renovating a building for office use are different than with sites that need to be made available for clinic or surgery services."

Site surveys found colonies of Actinomyces bacteria in both the A and B wings of the hospital. The micro-organism thrives in damp habitats and causes irritation or infection in the eyes and mouth.

New buildings, open doors

New annexes to the complex have been under construction since 2015 and have cost 250 million euros so far.

The entire front yard of the hospital has been a construction site since then. The new entrance is set to be opened by late September; the hospital says it will organise an open-doors event for the public when the new building is finished.

The Pirkanmaa Hospital District plans to inaugurate its new children's hospital this autumn. The new Tays Heart Hospital and parts of a parking garage have already been finalised this year.

The final D building, which houses a maternity ward and musculoskeletal disease unit, is to be finished in early 2020.

Ihalainen said the demolition of the A wing and all related reallocations will be decided on this autumn. The fate of the B wing will be left until next year.

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