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Saturday, May 21, 2022

More trouble for Oslo’s biggest hospital

Oslo University Hospital, already struggling with a highly controversial restructuring that’s pitted staff against administrators and politicians, now faces a deteriorating physical plant as well. A new study claims it will cost billions to make necessary improvements, at a time when budgets are being slashed.

Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported last week that the hospital needs nearly NOK 9 billion (USD 1.6 billion) for renovation of buildings that are literally falling apart. In one case, a building is sinking because of poor foundations, in another, walls are full of holes and ceilings are leaking.

DN’s report was based on findings from construction consulting firm Multiconsult, hired to examine hospital buildings and estimate repairs. In the midst of a troublesome reorganization that merged Ullevål University Hospital, the national hospital Rikshospitalet and the cancer hospital Radiumhospitalet, Multiconsult has determined that the buildings at Ullevål and at the Gaustad and Dikemark psychiatric hospitals are in the worst shape.

Multiconsult determined that fully 82 percent of the buildings at Ullevål are not suited or are even unacceptable for hospital use.

Jan Eirik Thorsesen, acting head of Oslo University Hospital, said the amount of money is too large to be used on old buildings in such poor shape. He and his staff are now charged with proposing a strategic development plan, and recommend either repairs or razing and building anew.

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