Palliative care (supportive and rehabilitative care)

Palliative care is aimed at improving the quality of life of patients facing life-threatening illnesses and their families. The goal of palliative care is to identify, assess, and treat pain and other physical symptoms of the disease and its treatment as early as possible, and to alleviate psychosocial and mental suffering. (WHO, 2002)


The palliative care centre includes doctors, nurses, social workers, psychologists, pastoral counsellors, experience counsellors, and a coordinator. If necessary, we can involve, for example, a nutritionist, a stoma nurse, and other specialists.

While in hospital, your doctor will decide if palliative care could be beneficial and will call the necessary specialist. You can also call the palliative care centre yourself at 617 1777.

Palliative care relieves ailments caused by a serious illness and treatment, such as pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, nausea, and others. Palliative care does not cure a serious illness or malignancy, but it can significantly improve your well-being. Palliative care supports the treatment of the disease with medications as well as relieving mental, spiritual, and physical ailments. Even if the disease is incurable, it is important to relieve the symptoms to live longer and better. Therefore, we offer palliative care throughout the disease, regardless of whether the specific anti-disease treatment works or not.

We work in the inpatient departments of the North Estonia Medical Centre and in the reception of the polyclinic.

The palliative care centre supports and helps you and your family:

  • we advise the patient and their relatives;
  • we teach techniques to relieve ailments, such as pain, nausea, shortness of breath, etc.;
  • we discuss and explain the available treatment options;
  • we provide information on social benefits and services;
  • we help to cope with the loss of a loved one and grief

Centre coordinator:
The coordinator provides initial information and helps to find the specialist you need to get the best help.

Olga Košeleva
617 1777

Palliative care nurse-counsellor:

  • helps to understand the information the doctor has given about the disease;
  • teaches to find reliable additional information about the disease and how to cope with it;
  • helps to establish contacts with necessary specialists (e.g. home nurse, nursing care, etc.);
  • is the point of contact between the patient and the medical staff in case of any further questions and problems.
    Both the patients and their loved ones can contact the nurse. A referral is not required.

Karin Härm
617 2396

Katre Tamm
617 2163


The work of a psychologist starts from the moment the patient finds out about their illness. Finding out about an illness, especially a serious illness, is always a critical time in a person’s life. A psychologist helps the patient and their loved ones to understand and cope with all stages of the crisis. A psychologist gives advice on how to find peace of mind and how to cope with the changes. The aim of counselling is to achieve the best possible quality of life for the patient and their loved ones in cooperation with other specialists in palliative care.
A psychologist helps a seriously ill person to understand the feelings associated with the illness (worthlessness, hopelessness, guilt, and suicidal thoughts). Ignoring such feelings has a negative effect on the outcome of treatment, worsens the quality of life, and prolongs hospital stay.

Harri Ints
617 2002
Mustamäe medical campus

Inna Gorislavskaja

617 2279

Both the patient and their loved ones can seek help from a psychologist. A referral is not required.

Our psychologists work in cooperation with all clinics of the Mustamäe medical campus.

Both the patient and their loved ones can seek help from a psychologist. A referral is not required.
Works in cooperation with all departments of the Hiiu medical campus.

Social workers:

The social worker provides information to the patient and their loved ones:

  • about the procedure for social benefits and services provided by the state;
  • about nursing and care facilities at home and in the hospital;
  • about the activities related to the application for the assessment of the ability to work, the determination of the severity of the disability, and the application for health insurance;
  • about the opportunities to apply for technical aid;
  • about other questions relating to the social field.

Merike Tennof
617 1136
Mustamäe medical campus

Relika Kirpu
617 2347 
Mustamäe medical campus

Kerda Prass
617 1279 
Mustamäe medical campus

Ingrid Starovoitov
617 2308 
Mustamäe medical campus

Heli Vahter
617 2926 / 5887 1828 
Hiiu medical campus

Anne-Ly Rezev
617 2358 
Hiiu medical campus

Pastoral counsellors:

A pastoral counsellor is a person who offers support and understanding to the patient and helps to find courage and hope even in a seemingly hopeless situation. The pastoral counsellor has Christian theological training and knows different religions. They always base their work on the patient’s own convictions and religious beliefs. They can invite a clergyman to the hospital at the patient’s request. Patients can talk to the pastoral counsellors about existential and spiritual topics if they want to. In difficult moments in life, such as life and death, human relationships, or one’s relationship with God, it is often necessary to express your thoughts. The work of a pastoral counsellor in a hospital is to talk to the patient and try to make sense of the patient’s life and the situation arising from illness, as well as their past and future.

Katri Aaslav-Tepandi
617 2385 / 617 197858034367

Kaisa Kirikal
617 2385 / 617 1978

Liidia Meel
617 2279

Marius Raudsepp

617 1978 / 617 2385

* They work together with all clinics of both the Mustamäe and Hiiu medical campus.

Experience counsellors of the information room:

Cancer patients and their relatives are welcome in the information room. In the information room, we provide science-based information and literature, as well as practical advice on how to better cope with the disease and its treatment. We encourage patients to undergo the treatment prescribed by their doctor and to adhere strictly to the treatment regimen. This will help to keep the focus on healing and avoid incompetent recommendations. When the patient sees a patient who has recovered from cancer and is now a counsellor, it can be encouraging. Another person’s similar experience is empowering to cope with their illness and life. In a trusting conversation with an experienced counsellor, patients have the courage to ask things they do not dare to ask the doctor and nurse.

Pain management and palliative care physicians:

The physicians can help relieve pain and other ailments with appropriate medications. If necessary, they will involve other specialists to counsel the patient and the family.

Dr Pille Sillaste
Anaesthesiologist and pain management physician
Reception: Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

*Call to book an appointment at 617 1049

Cancer patients do not need a referral, patients with other chronic pain on the recommendation of a doctor at the North Estonia Medical Centre.

Dr Mare Kolk
Anesthesiologist-pain management physician
Reception: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 10 a.m. to 2.30 p.m.
* Call to book an appointment at 617 1049

Cancer patients do not need a referral, patients with other chronic pain on the recommendation of a doctor at the North Estonia Medical Centre.

Dr Signe Salumets
Palliative care doctor
Call to book an appointment at 617 1049

* Cancer patients do not need a referral.

Consultants and partners of palliative care:

Anne Orasmäe-Tšižik
Clinical nutrition nurse and advisor

617 1788 / 5198 0453
Mustamäe medical campus

Advises cancer patients on their diet during illness and treatment

Janne Kukk
Stoma nurse
Stoma department

617 2370 / 5782 6131

  •  Starter package (sample bags + literature)
  •  Advice and practical help on using the bags
  •  Counselling of stoma patients, removal of sutures, bandaging
  •  Preoperative counselling
  •  Counselling of the patients’ loved ones
  •  Practical advice and consultation for colleagues (nurses and carers)

Dr Tiiu-Liis Tigane
Telephone counselling at the Estonian Cancer Society’s hotline 800 2233 Tuesday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Palliative care

Olga Košeleva

Centre coordinator


Palliative care

Dr Pille Sillaste

Head of Centre

617 2155