The Northern Ostrobothnia Hospital District, owner and operator of University Hospital in Oulu, Finland, has received a €75m long-term loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) for the expansion, renovation and improvement of the hospital.
The loan will support the ‘Future Hospital 2030’ programme, a long-term modernisation strategy, which is designed to reconfigure hospital premises, develop new operational models, improve productivity, as well as increase quality of care.
EIB will finance the construction of a children’s and women’s hospital and upgrade support services, such as a patient hotel and logistics centre.
Investments backed by the bank will also improve students’ education conditions and improve opportunities to strengthen the hospital’s research and development activities.
EIB vice-president Jan Vapaavuori said: "The European Investment Bank is committed to supporting long-term investment that improves the availability, access and cost of healthcare.
"Modernising university hospitals is essential to ensure high quality healthcare, especially in the context of Finland’s social and healthcare reform.
"We are pleased to support Oulu University Hospital’s renovation programme, as it will benefit patients from across the country and foster research of international importance."
The Northern Ostrobothnia Hospital District is a hospital operator that provides healthcare services for 740,000 people.
Hospital District director Hannu Leskinen said: "We are very satisfied with this long-term funding agreement with the EIB.
"We have a pressing need to renovate and renew our hospital facilities and make the hospital more efficient in the future.
"This €75m loan is the first tranche of the €240m loan authorisation for the financing of Future Hospital 2030.
"While the due diligence process for the EIB loan was very detailed and insightful, it also challenged us to improve, for example, the energy efficiency of the new hospital buildings."
Under the hospital upgrading programme, the latest technology and information systems will be used to improve operations and allow healthcare experts to focus on their core expertise.
The latest loan further confirms the bank’s commitment to finance the Finnish healthcare sector.
Over the past three years, the EIB has financed investments in hospitals in Jyväskylä, Tampere, Kuopio and Espoo.
Image: EIB vice-president Jan Vapaavuori and Oulu University Hospital director Hannu Leskinen at the signing of the deal. Photo: courtesy of European Investment Bank.