1920-1940 Formation of the patient care system

Too small even at inauguration

The sanatorium was owned and operated by the association formed by the proprietary municipalities from inauguration until the Federation of Municipalities of the Central Häme Sanatorium was founded in 1934. There were far more patients seeking admission to the hospital than there were beds available. In 1934 the National Board of Health, whose task was to monitor the health conditions in the country and provide guiding for hospital care, gave a permission to raise the number of beds to 180, but a couple of extra beds did not remedy the situation.

Patients in need of treatment waited in the queue for months, some of them never making it to Pikonlinna. The sanatorium beds were subject to a fee. It was generally the case that only patient who were expected to benefit from treatment were admitted. In other words, hopeless cases were not usually admitted even for isolation purposes.

In 1936 construction work of a new wing was started. When Wing B was completed in 1937, the number of hospital beds increased by 110, of which 26 were reserved for child patients. The new beds were immediately filled, because there were constantly a large number of people seeking admission to the sanatorium. The total number of beds was 290 at that time.

After the sanatorium was enlarged the waiting time for the admission to the hospital grew considerably shorter. Priority was given to patients who needed urgent treatment, homeless, or who presented a high infection risk in their living environment.

The patients’ average treatment time in 1937 was about 275 days, i.e nine months. As the number of patients increased so did the need for medical staff, which grew to 65 employees, of whom six were doctors.