1900-1920 Alarming situation

Anti-tuberculosis campaign with volunteer workforce dating from the 19th century

Pulmonary tuberculosis became more common in Finland during the 19th century. The first anti-tuberculosis campaign was implemented in Finland in 1893 by the Finnish Medical Society.   This campaign called for improved living conditions of working-class people, monitoring working conditions and improved ventilation of dwellings. At first tuberculosis was regarded as a scourge among the lower social classes. At the turn of the 19th and 20th century, in tune with the spirit of the age, efficient enlightenment was emphasized as the most important tool in the fight against tuberculosis.

Tuberculosis prevention campaigns were initially implemented by volunteer workers. The State Tuberculosis Committee was created in 1899. A society called ”Sanitorium for Children Suffering from Scrofula” established a summer hospital in 1901 for children with bone and joint tuberculosis or scrofula. The medical society Duodecim founded the Takaharju Sanitorium in 1903. The Nummela Sanatorium was established by the Finnish Medical Society. The Finnish Anti-Tuberculosis Association was founded in 1907 (the current name is Filha ry (Finnish Lung Health Association)

The real impetus for the foundation of hospitals had to wait until 1930, when legislation provided money for the founding (75 %) and maintenance (16 FIM/day) of the institutions treating tuberculosis patients. During the years 1930-1933 eight large folk sanatoriums were founded, of which one was the Central Häme Sanatorium, better known as Pikonlinna Hospital.