Helsinki University Hospital among the world’s best hospitals in 2021
In the ranking of the World’s Best Hospitals 2021 published by the American weekly Newsweek, Helsinki University Hospital climbed from the previous year to rank 21st globally, third in the Nordics and ninth in Europe. Let’s take a look at what stands behind the prominent success.
HUS Helsinki University Hospital is the largest hospital in Finland servicing Helsinki metropolitan region with a catchment area covering Helsinki, Espoo, and Vantaa as well as the vast Uusimaa region with over 1,700,000 residents. This means around 680,000 patients per year are treated by a team of 27,000 medical specialists with almost half of 4000 MDs having a PhD degree.
HUS comprises five campus locations in the Uusimaa region: the Helsinki University Hospital in Helsinki and its departments in Hyvinkää, Lohja, Porvoo, and Länsi-Uusimaa.
HUS is the largest healthcare institution providing specialized medical care and the second largest employer in Finland.
Nationally centralized care for rare and serious diseases
Today’s history of the University Hospital started in 2000 when all the institutions comprising HUS were brought together, yet its traditions go back to the remote 1830s when the first university hospital was built to compliment the experience of district rural hospitals. The legacy of the time includes 21 hospital buildings in the Helsinki region that were united in 1958.
HUS specialists provide nationally centralized care for many rare and serious diseases. This is based on the underlying strategy fostering responsible approach and sustainability covering all processes within Helsinki University Hospital.
Helsinki University hospital is committed to provide top quality medical services to every patient every day which is promoted by the hospital’s strategic goal of leading the way in healthcare.
Being the best is the ambitious goal for HUS Diagnostic Center where 3,000 professionals in eight fields provide high quality services for patients and are engaged in research work and education.
HUSLAB is a T055 laboratory accredited by the FINAS Accreditation Service in accordance with SFS-EN ISO 15189: 2013 certificate. The HUS Diagnostic Center was awarded with ISO 9001: 2015 quality certificate in 2018.
Cancer treatment 5-year survival rates among the highest in the world
In addition to well organized operations of all HUS departments, one of the key areas is cancer treatment. According to world rankings, the Finnish healthcare system is a leader both in Europe and worldwide. Successful treatment of various types of cancer is an important contributor to the country’s top rankings evidenced by the recent CONCORD-3 research published in The Lancet journal (CONCORD-3: Global surveillance of trends in cancer survival 2000–14. Lancet 2018; 391: 1023–75).
On a European and global scale, Finland is considered a country with top-notch cancer care. According to the study, the 5-year survival rate for most types of cancer in Finland is one of the highest in the world. Finland has the third highest 5-year survival rate in Europe for prostate cancer, breast cancer and brain cancer in adults. For example, 93.2% of prostate cancer patients survive an average of five years after diagnosis. CONCORD-3 covers 71 countries and regions aggregating data from 37.5 million patients diagnosed with cancer between 2000 and 2014.
In 2014, the Cancer Center of Helsinki University Hospital became the first cancer center in the Nordic countries to be accredited by the Organization of European Cancer Institutes (OECI) as a Comprehensive Cancer Center that stands for the highest recognition by the organization. Only one other university hospital in Europe has received such recognition.
Demanding specialized care for international customers
Until 2020, international patients coming to HUS were handled by HYKSin private hospital. However, in summer 2020, it merged with Orton previously focusing on joint and spinal surgery and rehabilitation for patients from all over the world. After the merger, Orton has become one of the largest private hospitals in Finland offering an extensive list of specialized medical services in a wide variety of medical fields. The orthopedic fields traditional for the clinic (arthroplasty and spinal surgeries) are now complemented by high-quality services in the following areas:
- Cancer: oncological treatment and cancer surgery
- Hand surgery
- Pre- and postoperative rehabilitation
- Voice clinic
- Endocrine surgery
- Gastroenterological surgery
- Thoracic surgery
Several departments of Helsinki University Hospital, for example the oncology and neurosurgery departments, are significant also on European scale. The oncology department that is one of the largest in the European Union, provides care to 65,000 patients with 3,000 getting medication-based tumor treatment and another 3,500 treated with radio-therapy.
The Helsinki University Hospital Neurosurgery Clinic at Töölö Hospital deals with the surgical treatment of brain conditions and central nervous system diseases. The hospital’s professionals perform about 3,200 operations annually, making it one of the largest neurosurgical departments in Europe.
International patients can get a treatment in HUS through Orton’s customer service. This can be done either by telephone or by e-mail. After receiving an inquiry, the service coordinator helps the patient to find a doctor focusing on the specific problem, gives price information, organizes treatment time and provides support with documents for the trip.
Apart from top-quality medical care, another argument for choosing to get treated in Finland is the competitive pricing that will not change after the agreement is signed with the patient. Such approach to pricing builds trust, contributes to patient’s confidence and helps avoid unnecessary stress. What is also very important for international patients is that the services are provided in their mother tongue.
The service coordinators offer service in Finnish, Swedish, English and Russian. The doctors and health care staff also have good language skills and if necessary experienced interpreters are used.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Orton’s ability to provide treatment to international patients is limited due to pandemic-related travel restrictions. Yet, Markus Orava, Orton’s CEO, hopes that the clinic will continue its traditions of providing a wide variety of services to international customers.