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“Have to operate, dies on the way anyway”

Initially, only one method of hospital treatment was known in Kuusamo: to send the sick person to the county hospital in Oulu, if home treatment and the old folk healing methods did not work. When Pudasjärvi got its own doctor in 1859, the people of Kuusamo also started demanding their own. From 1871, requests were made every few years and eventually they were agreed to.

The first pharmacy in Kuusamo was established on December 6th, 1892, when Karl Arrhenius, a pharmacist from Pudasjärvi, opened a side pharmacy in a house rented from merchant Antti Pitkänen, located near the church.

In 1900, the state established three regional medical districts in Northern Finland, of which Kuusamo was one. Licentiate of medicine Heikki Huovinen arrived as the first doctor shortly after the establishment. Kuusamo hospital was built in 1906 with the help of state aid, when 15 infirmaries and a nurse’s position were added. Juho Warpula took up the post of regional doctor around that time. In 1921, Ali Ervasti was appointed as the regional doctor.

The hospital in Kuusamo was destroyed during the wars after German and Russian troops burned down the church town of Kuusamo and the hospital was distributed in several buildings.

With the public health act that came into force in 1972, the name of Kuusamo municipal hospital changed to Kuusamo health centre.