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Milestones and extracts from the commemorative publication to be published in autumn 2009
(Mehiläinen - 100 years in Finnish life by Hannu Pesonen)

The 1900's / 1910's:

On 6 November 1909, Reguel Löfqvist, Akseli Koskimies, Walter Sipilä, and K.F.Hirvisalo found the Mehiläinen Hospital Limited Company, named after a mythical creature in Kalevala, the Finnish national epic

On 19 October 1910, the Mehiläinen Hospital admits its first patient on Huvilakatu street, Helsinki.

The wise raven that flew onto the scene opined that Lemminkäinen could not be brought back to life, but the mother gathered up the pieces, gave blood transfusions, set the bones, stitched the wounds, performed organ transplantations, and managed to rebuild his frame, but could not make him talk or bring him back to life. But then Lemminkäinen's mother managed to persuade Mehiläinen (the Bee), the king of the forest flowers, to fetch nectar and mead from various herbs to serve as an ointment. This helped the son to recover, to battle the storms of life again.

The 1920's:

1925 The acquisition of the first X-ray machine

Rather prosaically, the miracle machine was placed in an office room, as space in the Huvilakatu street facilities was still in short supply. The machine brought a flow of patients and income into the hospital. The reputation of the miraculous X-ray machine grew and grew, reaching mythical proportions. It was said that the machine could penetrate so deep that not only your bones and lungs were visible - the secrets of your soul might be revealed as well.

The 1930's:

1932 Mehiläinen relocates to a new building on Pohjoinen Hesperiankatu street and the Huvilakatu street hospital is closed down.

1936 - 1937 The hospital expands, eventually reaching the corner where the streets Runeberginkatu and Pohjoinen Hesperiankatu meet.

'A handsome, light green stone building, where everything is shiny and new' was how the newspaper Uusi Suomi described the hospital which attracted well-deserved attention. On Pohjoinen Hesperiankatu street, above the main entrance to this stone castle, which dominated the as yet incomplete cityscape, the word 'Mehiläinen' was written in golden letters. Likewise, the location of the hospital in the new, modern district of Töölö, described as being close to nature, was also seen as a positive feature. On this quiet esplanade, far from the hustle and bustle of the city centre, it was an ideal place for the patients to convalesce and feel refreshed.

The 1940's:

1940 During the Winter War, Mehiläinen acted first as a City of Helsinki First Aid Station, then as a Finnish Red Cross Military Hospital.

6 Feb.1944 Mehiläinen is damaged in the large-scale Russian bombing campaign on the capital. Hospital operations are temporarily brought to an almost complete standstill .

The corner of the Mehiläinen building was badly damaged. An aerial bomb hit the Runeberginkatu street near the pavement, ricocheted and exploded near the corner. A fire broke out in the laboratory but was extinguished by using textiles from the Niemeläinen textile shop warehouse, on the corner of Hesperiankatu and Runeberginkatu. Another, apparently larger, bomb had hit the corner of Runeberginkatu street and the park and made a gaping hole in the street opposite the Mehiläinen building.

The 1950´s:

1957 Doctors' receptions with several doctors available simultaneously are introduced, thus creating the basis for future outpatient clinic operations

The whole idea was revolutionary, even outrageous to many elderly patients - to sit there waiting in the corridor, together with others! Even many of the more experienced doctors had reservations about this kind of assembly line approach. But Heinänen, the Director of the hospital, refused to budge. Half of the hospital was idle.

The 1960's:

1964 The first purchased services are provided as the township of Espoo rents 34 hospital beds from Mehiläinen

1964 The Sickness Insurance Act comes into effect, the state undertakes the payment of reimbursements for medical examinations and treatment costs

By 1964, at the latest, it was evident that starting receptions proved to have been a prescient move. This was the year the Sickness Insurance Act came into force, which meant that every Finnish resident was entitled to sickness, pregnancy, and childbirth insurance. Under the auspices of the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (KELA), Sickness Insurance Offices opened their doors in early September and started paying out Sickness Allowance and Maternity Grants as well as providing reimbursements - for medication, travel expenses, and examinations and treatment prescribed by doctors. The funding came from insurance premiums paid by employees and wage-earners.

The 1970's:

1974 The sale of occupational health services to enterprises commences

1978 The company assumes a new name - Mehiläinen Hospital Company Limited

The opening fanfare for Mehiläinen's independent growth was played in the 1978 Annual General Meeting, where the name Duodecim Hospital Ltd became Mehiläinen Hospital Company Limited. The winds of change were blowing in many other areas. Mehiläinen was divided into profit centres. Ward managers 'were trained for management by objectives and made budget responsible'.

The 1980's:

17 June 1980 The last child is born on the Mehiläinen Maternity Ward

1984 Mehiläinen becomes a consortium through the purchase of the Hakaniemi Outpatient Clinic and its affiliate, the Kielotie Outpatient Clinic in Vantaa; the Forum Outpatient Clinic, to be opened in 1986, is also part of the deal.

15 Sept 1986 The first heart bypass surgery operation performed in Mehiläinen

On a clear day in early spring 1984, an unfamiliar guest marched into the staff kitchen in the Hakaniemi Outpatient Clinic, located in the so-called Circular House ('Ympyrätalo' in Finnish). Few of those invited to be present had met him face to face, but as soon as he took his place next to Veikko Leivo, the General Manager of the Outpatient Clinic, and opened his mouth, what he had to say quickly became clear to everybody. The hospital director for Mehiläinen Juhani Nummi explained that Mehiläinen would be buying the Hakaniemi Outpatient Clinic.

The 1990's:

1991-94 The economic recession significantly reduces the demand for private health care services

1994-95 Mehiläinen begins a major overhaul on its concern structure: the Forum Outpatient Clinic is amalgamated into the Hakaniemi Outpatient Clinic and the Kalevankatu Outpatient Clinic into the mother company.

1996 The Turku-based outpatient clinics Meditori and Vagus are merged into Tohtoritalo 41410 Oy

The bank employee's strike in 1991 marked the start of a deep recession in the private health care sector, continuing well into 1995. In just two years, Mehiläinen's annual turnover of FIM 200 million plummeted to 130 million. The fact that the consortium managed to survive the depression in the first place is a remarkable story of survival in itself.

The 2000's:

5 Dec 2000 CapMan and the Finnish Innovation Fund (Sitra) become major stockholders in Mehiläinen

2001 Mehiläinen Oy is launched as a result of a merger between Mehiläinen and Tohtoritalo 41410 Oy

2002 Mehiläinen starts its national expansion as Remedi in Vaasa and Säveri in Kuopio join the service network

2003 Significant investment in the creation of a national service network leads to the acquisition of nine companies in different parts of Finland. Mehiläinen continues its growth in the next few years.

2005 Mehiläinen's operations are certified to the ISO 9001:2000 quality standard

2006 Through its company, 3i, a private equity company, acquires majority ownership of Mehiläinen. Thus Mehiläinen becomes part of the Ambea group, the Nordic region's largest provider of health care and elderly care services, which also includes Mehiläinen's Swedish sister company Carema Vård & Omsorg AB.

2009 Mehiläinen expands its publicly funded health care services considerably by launching the Carema brand to provide home care services in Karjaa and by acquiring Leivoyhtiöt Companies, which broadened the supply of services to child protection and mental health care rehabilitation.

6 Nov 2009 Mehiläinen's 100th Anniversary

´Within a few short years, a breathtaking number of things happened - totally new values and objectives were created; a new line organization, radically different in structure, was built for the concern; and dozens of companies were acquired to form a national service network. The end result is a company that is completely new in content, operations, and mindset.'

The 2010's:

2015 > Mehiläinen becomes the market leader in social services and public healthcare services based on customer’s freedom of choice, and expands its private healthcare services to include dental health. Mehiläinen also develops innovative digital health applications and value based contract models with the aim of radically improving the patient experience, measured health outcomes and cost efficiency of care.

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