National Hospital in Need of Renewal of Equipment Skip to content

National Hospital in Need of Renewal of Equipment

Medical equipment at Landspítali, the national hospital in Reykjavík, must be renewed for ISK 2-3 billion (USD 17-25 million, EUR 13-20 million) in the next two years. Cancer treatment had to be postponed this summer when both of the hospital’s radiation therapy machines broke down at the same time.


View of Landspítali and Hallgrímskirkja. Photo by Dagbjört Oddný Matthíasdóttir.

Director of Landspítali Björn Zoëga told Fréttablaðið that the investment need for a university hospital is estimated to be four to five percent of the annual turnover. The turnover at Landspítali was ISK 38 billion (USD 315 million, EUR 251 million) in 2011.

“It is difficult to name an overall figure but the shopping list for bare necessities this year and next is two to three billion,” Björn stated. Funding for medical equipment has been around ISK 210 million (USD 1.7 million, EUR 1.4 million) annually since 2001, or ISK 2.3 billion in total.

Björn said the oldest equipment at the hospital has almost become obsolete. In regard to the radiation therapy machines that broke down this summer, he added, “the older machine is 17 years old and we must somehow renew it next year.”

A patient’s relative once called him up after having witnessed hospital staff using tape to keep the oldest equipment together. “People are upset about this, of course, we have been talking about it for a long time,” Björn commented.

Björn revealed that a German manufacturer of an MRI scan machine, which Landspítali had on lease purchasing, called after the MRI was five years old, wanting the hospital to either buy it or take it down. “We bought the scan at a bargain price and kept running it.”

“We probably have to buy another such scanner, just as old, so the company won’t have to come and discard it,” Björn added. “Other equipment is hanging together by relentless repairs.”

When asked whether the government has shown the situation understanding, Björn said he hasn’t been given any information on increased funding for medical equipment.


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