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H-building brings together basic healthcare services in Vaasa

Most of the services provided by Vaasa’s health stations were moved into the H-building of the Hietalahti hospital area in the middle of December. Head Nurse Marlene Vägar explains what the change means in practice.

One of the biggest construction projects of the pandemic years in Vaasa has been completed, and it is now time for primary healthcare to settle down in the hospital area. The nurses’ and doctors’ clinics in Gerby, Tammikaivo, Ristinummi and Kirkkopuistikko were the first to move. The clinics at Vähäkyrö will continue as before.

− Smaller health stations are more vulnerable than larger treatment units. Customers have also found themselves in an unequal position when clinic times are divided by district, says Head Nurse Marlene Vägar.

The members of staff working at the H-building are largely the same, consisting of those who previously worked at health stations in various parts of Vaasa.

Osastonhoitaja Marlene Vägar seisoo pöydän ääressä. Hänellä on vaaleat hiukset, valkoinen paita ja mustat housut.
Marlene Vägar, head nurse.

Make an appointment before your visit

At the H-building, customers are offered healthcare by appointment, the same way as in the past at small health stations. A customer can also manage many things electronically.

Through the My Kanta service, for example, it is possible to renew prescriptions and read patient records, and in the Omaolo service you can assess the need for treatment.

The wellbeing services county is also constantly developing its own electronic services.
Before a visit, a customer must book an appointment at the Customer Service Centre of the wellbeing services county, tel. 06 218 9000. You can also book an appointment online.

− If the customer wants to visit a familiar nurse in the future as well, an appointment can be made for them via the electronic appointment booking system. The customer can also book a telephone time.

If the customer wants to visit a familiar nurse in the future as well, an appointment can be made for them via the electronic appointment booking system..  

Head nurse Marlene Vägar

Access to clinics from Sanmarkinkatu

The entrance to the H-building is on the street known as Sanmarkinkatu, opposite the Finnish baseball field. There are registration machines on the ground floor where a customer can be identified with a driving licence or a Kela card. Upon registration, the customer receives a printed notice that indicates which floor and room they should go to. The customer can also register by text message.

On the ground floor, the customer can receive help from service advisers or nurses if needed. If the customer has come without an appointment, it is possible to take a queue number and have routine matters such as the renewal of prescriptions handled quickly.

In the H-building, customers are not invited to a clinic by name, but by the service number received upon registration. It is also new that the nurses and doctors do not have their own clinics, as the rooms are shared with the rest of the building’s staff.

– All the clinics have the same equipment. The intention is that the rooms would be used efficiently and that every nurse or doctor could serve customers in any room, says Vägar.

A safe place to visit and work

The primary healthcare clinics are located on the first floor, as is the pharmacy. In addition, the H-building has both a canteen and a restaurant. The number of customers is estimated to rise to hundreds per day.

– Instead of circulating patients between different service points, the idea is that they get as much help as possible from one place, says Marlene Vägar.

Some of the nurses have a limited right to prescribe medication and will have the opportunity to write prescriptions in the future. By making an appointment, you can also book an appointment with a nurse for a thorough health check-up. This service is especially for seniors.
− It will work a bit like a self-care system. We had time to test it a bit before the Corona virus pandemic put the brakes on everything, says Assistant Head Nurse Päivi Granlund.

Behind the reception rooms is a service corridor or “back office”, where members of the nursing staff hold remote clinics and do their office work. The arrangement is practical, but also improves the safety of customers and staff.

Members of staff participated in designing facilities

The planning of the H-building has been going on for many years, and both the staff and special groups have had the opportunity to express their wishes related to the facilities and functions. The facilities are easily accessible, pleasant and fit for purpose.

Approximately 130 nurses and doctors will work in the primary healthcare clinics at the H-building. Since the members of the H-building staff come from different work communities, it will certainly take time before everything starts to work routinely.

Primary healthcare clinics are the first service to move into the H-building. The rest of the services will move in stages during the beginning of 2023.

In case of emergency, call 112

A customer experiencing severe chest pains, numbness or a sudden deterioration of their general health should go to the Accident & Emergency (A&E) department or call 112, and not make an appointment at the health centre. If you are unsure whether the symptoms require going to the Accident & Emergency (A&E) department, call the national Medical Helpline at the number 116117. They provide help and advice around the clock.