Estonia: Tartu University Hospital

Tartu University Hospital is the only university-hospital in small Estonia locating in the second largest city in the country- Tartu. The hospital has around 1000 hospital beds and cares for the South-Estonian patients in all specialities. As a regional hospital in close collaboration with the University of Tartu, we also provide the sole care for some specialities in the whole country-  congenital cardiac surgery in children and adults (including invasive care) and organ transplantation for example.


Historically (from 1963) all the patients with rare heart diseases and congenital heart defects (CHD) have been managed in Tartu, from 1975 in the department of cardiac surgery, which has extensive collective expertise in the diagnosis and management of CHD. The department works in close collaboration with electrophysiologists and cardiologists all over the country for better outcomes for the patiens. For Estonia, a small country with only 1,3 mln inhabitants, being a part of bigger initiatives like ERN GUARD- HEART is of great importance due to the small numbers of potential patients.


Raili Ermel- a cardiac surgeon working in Tartu University Hospital’ s department of cardiac surgery- managing both the adults and children with congenital and acquired heart defects. I’ve completed my training in Tartu, with a 6 month period of training in Hopital Louis Pradel in France in the department of congenital heart surgery. Still in the early phases of my career, i’m very interested in congenital heart defects and their transformation into adulthood as ACHD.

Mrs. Ermel