A major boom in hospital construction is occurring in Finland. We are facing the confluence of the need to replace aging 1970s’ old hospitals. At the same time Finland´s covernment is preparing a reform to rearrange the health and social care. In the future people will be able to choose from a range of providers (public and private) for their health care. This submits also the public hospitals to competition.
Many psychiatric hospitals in Finland were built in early 1900´s, usually in a pittoresque places near the lake but far from the society and somatic hospitals. The mental health act in 1990 promoted the mental well-being, ability to cope and personal growth of the individual, and the prevention, curing and alleviation of mental illness and other mental disorders.
At the moment over 10 new psychiatric hospitals are under planning or construction in Finland: Hämeenlinna, Tampere, Turku, Kuopio, Jyväskylä, Mikkeli, Helsinki, Rovaniemi, Seinäjoki, Vaasa, Pori and Kajaani. These all are planned to built beside or inside the somatic hospitals. This is a huge challenge but also an opportunity for us!
In Hämeenlinna we are planning a brand new central hospital with 352 beds (79 beds at the psychiatric wards). We have a strategic alliance with the constructors (Skanska, Sweco), the architects (Team Integrated: Harris-Kjisik, AW2 Architects and Gortemaker Algra Feenstra) and the users (central hospital of Kanta-Häme). Our goal is to plan the most human hospital in the world and we are doing it together with the patients. We are putting great importance on the “patient first” and my presentation explains how we did it.