President Sauli Niinistö has officially opened a new children’s hospital in Helsinki.
The project, on Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District’s Meilahti campus, was financed by public funds as well as donations from private individuals and businesses.
The new facility will treat patients from all over Finland, and carry out complex operations such as organ transplants and heart surgery. It will open in stages during this month, with emergency services not slated to begin until 25th September.
President Niinistö told a crowd of several hundred invited guests that the new hospital was a place of hope.
“A child’s illness and suffering touch us deeper than anything else. And when a child recovers, it makes us happier than any other joyful news […] today in this building we can feel how hope is sprouting” he said.
Some €39 million was raised by a crowdfunding campaign which had the backing of local businesses and individuals. The total cost of the project was €170 million, and the new facility replaces the 1940’s-era Lastenlinna children’s hospital.
The new Children’s Hospital uses a lot of technology and innovation behind the scenes, as well as in the treatments available. Parents will also have the chance to stay overnight with their sick children, instead of having to go away each evening.
The hospital will also be used as a teaching and training facility for pediatric care.
“Education and research are also an essential part of the hospital’s activities” President Niinistö said at the opening ceremony.