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Representatives of cancer patient associations appreciate the new facilities of the expanded Chemotherapy Day Hospital at the Riga East University Hospital

While visiting the expanded Chemotherapy Day Hospital of the inpatient facility “Latvian Oncology Centre” at the Riga East University Hospital (hereinafter – the East Hospital), representatives of cancer patient associations commended the hospital for the newly constructed facilities, acknowledging that a bright, spacious, and discreet environment is extremely important when receiving chemotherapy drugs. In the newly expanded Chemotherapy Day Hospital, treatment for 30% more patients than before will gradually be provided, thereby significantly expanding treatment opportunities.

In the presence of Prime Minister Evika Siliņa, Minister for Health Houssam Abou Merhi, the hospital board, heads of inpatient facilities and clinics, patient representatives, doctors, nursing staff, and other employees, the newly constructed facilities of the Chemotherapy Day Hospital were inaugurated on 26 January 2024.  As a result of the implementation of the project, the previous number of 50 recliners in the inpatient facility has increased to 69, with recliners now conforming to modern standards, providing comfort, and specially adapted for patients in the specific medical profile. The staff, including doctors, nurses, and support personnel, on the other hand, are now able to work in modern and functional facilities, while visitors have access to more spacious and comfortable common areas.

Having acquainted themselves with the newly inaugurated facilities, representatives of cancer patient society, Edgars Āboliņš, Lāsma Nikolaisone, and Nadežda Barišovska, commended the hospital. They emphasized that a bright, spacious, and discreet treatment environment is extremely important when receiving chemotherapy drugs. A positive environment helps alleviate the side effects of drugs and build faith in recovering from an oncological disease.

Associate Professor Iveta Kudaba, the head of the Chemotherapy Day Hospital, introduced the members of patient associations with the stages of a patient’s pathway in the expanded inpatient facility. It begins with bright and spacious front desk areas and continues with treatment rooms equipped with ergonomic and functional equipment for both patients and the nurses who will take care of the patients. Additionally, representatives of patient organizations had the opportunity to see the facilities intended for the staff, nurse workstations, as well as a specially designed summer garden that creates a positive atmosphere where every patient or employee can sit down on benches and enjoy fresh air, surrounded by trees and flowers.

Board Member of the East Hospital, Professor Haralds Plaudis, welcomed the opportunity to meet with representatives of patient organizations to show them the new and bright facilities deliberately designed with healing architectural elements.

Meanwhile, Professor Sandra Lejniece, the head of the Chemotherapy and Haematology Clinic, informed those present about the progress in establishing the national cancer centre. This includes ongoing efforts by experts at the East Hospital to create patient pathways and take on the methodological leadership in cancer treatment. The goal is to ensure that every cancer patient receives treatment based on the latest guidelines as close to their place of residence and familiar environment as possible.

The Care Unit Director Inese Budzila shared insights into the increasingly important role of nurses and their involvement in ensuring the treatment and care processes. She provided a detailed explanation of the provision of chemotherapy patient care, including education, information dissemination, and addressing patients’ important questions at each stage of patient treatment and care in the new facilities.

At the conclusion of the meeting, representatives of cancer patient associations posed questions and engaged in discussions with the East Hospital’s doctors, nursing staff, and other specialists, covering current issues and putting forward various suggestions.

The representatives of the Eastern Hospital were pleased with the meeting and discussion, which will allow improving the care of chemotherapy patients.

The expansion and renovation of the Chemotherapy Day Hospital of the facility “Latvian Oncology Centre” at the East Hospital commenced in June 2023. The expansion of facilities covered an area of 5856 square metres. During the renovation of the inpatient facility, special focus was given to the compliance with epidemiological requirements. It was also important to ensure that both patients and the staff feel comfortable while maintaining discretion. During the implementation of the project, more comfortable nurse stations were created, equipped with modern medical technology devices and solutions. The project seeks to provide various ergonomic and functional connections of facilities that, when necessary, enable the prompt assistance.

The expansion of the Chemotherapy Day Hospital took place within the framework of the ERDF project No. “Development of Infrastructure of the Building of SIA “Rīgas Austrumu klīniskā universitātes slimnīca” [Riga East University Hospital] at Hipokrāta iela 4”, with the total cost of EUR 2 996 872.47, including the funding from the European Regional Development Fund amounting to EUR 2 547 341.60 and the funding from the Latvian State budget amounting to EUR 269 718.52.

About the East Hospital 

The Riga East University Hospital is the largest and strategically significant multi-profile hospital in the country. The hospital consists of five inpatient facilities – “Gaiļezers”, “Latvian Oncology Centre” , “Biķernieki”, “Tuberculosis and Lung Disease Centre”, and “Latvian Infectious Diseases Centre”, along with various specialised centres and clinics. The hospital provides highly specialised inpatient and secondary outpatient healthcare, offering multidisciplinary tertiary-level treatment and care in line with modern technology and medical knowledge. Approximately 80% of all cancer patients in Latvia are treated at the hospital. It serves as a practical training base for both Latvian educational institutions and foreign students, providing further education and knowledge transfer to healthcare specialists within and beyond the country. The hospital engages in scientific research and develops innovative methods for patient treatment. As the third-largest employer in the country, the hospital employs around 5000 staff members.