New Children’s Hospital. Photo: City of Helsinki

Helsinki-info on New Children’s Hospital and asylum seekers in Finnish workforce

The English section of the Helsinki-info bulletin’s new edition presents the recently opened New Children’s Hospital, discusses how asylum seekers can ease workforce shortages in Finland and introduces a Chinese student residing in Helsinki. 

New Children’s Hospital is a long-awaited addition to the hospital complex of HUS Helsinki University Hospital at the Meilahti campus. The hospital is a model of new thinking in medical care: while ensuring the optimal flow of medical operations, the hospital is a humane environment that promotes healing. 

“The healing environment of the hospital is created by many elements that stimulate children and take their thoughts away from illness,” says Pekka Lahdenne, Associate Professor of Pediatrics at HUS, who led the operational design of the hospital. 

“This project didn’t proceed with architecture first but with user needs first,” says Antti-Matti Siikala of SARC Architects, the leader of the architectural team comprising SARC and Architect Group Reino Koivula. 

Many sectors of the Finnish economy suffering from workforce shortages – construction, restaurants and many services – could find an important resource in asylum seekers.  

“Businesses may not know that they could hire asylum seekers,” says Elisa Vepsäläinen, Executive Director of Startup Refugees, asserting, “Asylum seekers are highly motivated to work.” 

Asylum seekers can legally work in 3–6 months after their arrival in Finland. Employers report good experiences with asylum seekers and have found that they possess a great deal of potential. 

The regular Helsinki-info series profiling Helsinki’s foreign-born residents introduces Chinese student Yuanyuan Xie. She has grown accustomed to and enjoys many aspects of Finland but would like to see more encounters between the foreign-born and native residents of Helsinki. 

Read the above articles and more in Helsinki-info