geriatrics in Estonia

Geriatric Medicine in Estonia in 2006
Helgi Kolk University of Tartu/
Estonian Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics   The Republic of Estonia

  • Total area- 45 000 sq km; Capital- Tallinn
  • Population- 1 344 000 (2006)
  • 15,9 % over 65 years (2004)
  • Life expectancy at birth (2003)
  Estonia EU
Males 66.0 75.1
Females 76.9 81.2


Medical Education
Medical Faculty at University of Tartu
26 departments (9 preclinical, 17 clinical)
6 yrs. undergraduate+ 3-5yrs. specialization
No dept. of Geriatrics Number of practicing physicians 4300
31 physicians per 10.000 inhabitants
Number of geriatricians 0  

Estonian Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics

  • Established 1997
  • 154 members  (2005)

professionals working with the elderly (physicians, nurses, social and care workers, managers of care institutions, teaching staff)
representatives of organizations of pensioners, volunteers.

Activity areas of EGGA

  • Training professionals incl. curriculum development
  • Development of guidelines, regulations, standards
  • Research, incl. international projects
  • Producing of educational materials
  • Providing information on ageing and the care of older people in words understandable by the lay public


  • Study on coping and health of the Estonian Elderly residents, 2000

Saks K, Kolk H et al. Health status of the older population in Estonia. Croatian Medical Journal 2001; 42(6):663-668.
Saks K, Kolk H et al.Prevalence of cardiovascular disorders among older population in primary care in Estonia. Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care 2003; 21(2):106-109.

  • Tartu Senior Study, 2002

International projects

  • CARMA- Care of the Aged at the Risk of Marginalization (2003-2005)
  • Tallinn- Helsinki Senior Study, 2004
  • Care Keys-  EU Quality of Life Programs (2003-2005)
  • Nutri-Senex- Improving the quality of life of elderly people by co-ordinating research into malnutrition of the elderly (2004-2006)

Estonian Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics
… is member of

  • International Association of Gerontology (IAG)
  • European Union Geriatric Medicine Society (EUGMS)

Geriatric education developing
50 Geriatricians needed by 2015.
To achieve the aim:

  • establish a critical mass of medical educators in geriatrics (dept. at Medical faculty)
  • postgraduate specialization in geriatrics abroad
  • start (re)training courses


contacts in Estonia

Dr. MD, PhD

Helgi Kolk
+372 7 318225