The public testing organisation is a consortium created at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic (March 2020) by nine private medical institutions and six hospitals, with the aim of conducting coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 testing in Estonia in cooperation with the Government of the Republic of Estonia and the Health Board.
The public testing organisation is run by SYNLAB Eesti and Medicum Tervishoiuteenused.
The aim of the organisation is to collect coronavirus test samples from patients with referral letters and people returning to Estonia, during surveillance and in situations where many people need to be tested at once in specially designed public testing points all over Estonia, and to issue trustworthy lab results to them.
In Southern and Western Estonia, coronavirus test samples are collected from patients with referral letters by medical staff of Qvalitas Medical Centre in their testing buses and tents, and also by local hospitals (Kuressaare Hospital, Põlva Hospital, Rapla County Hospital and Hiiumaa Hospital). Alre, Eldred Medical, Medicum, Qvalitas, Confido, Kuressaare Hospital and SYNLAB also contribute with their home testing units, making it possible to test many people at once, if necessary. In Tallinn, testing is carried out for patients with referral letters by Medicum and SYNLAB. In Narva, testing is carried out by Corrigo, and in Kohtla-Järve and Sillamäe in Ida-Viru Central Hospital. At border crossing points, samples are collected by Confido health professionals.
From these institutions, a total of over 300 procedural nurses collect samples all over Estonia. The home testing units include slightly below 100 people; suppliers and about 40 drivers are also involved in transporting samples. The testing call centre with about 120 employees is responsible for booking appointments and announcing results. In addition, some staff members are responsible for coordinating testing.
In the SYNLAB Tallinn laboratory, where samples are analysed using the PCR method, 80 people are directly involved in coronavirus testing. This makes a total of approximately 680 people who contribute to public coronavirus testing on a daily basis.
The organisation also closely cooperates with the Estonian Society of Family Doctors, Government Office of the Republic of Estonia and the Ministry of Social Affairs.