The European Union defines rare diseases as diseases which affect no more than 5 persons per 10,000 people. It has been estimated that about 300,000 Finns have some rare form of disease, impairment, syndrome or malformation. Rare diseases are challenging to identify and treat, and it requires special resources to rehabilitate patients and to provide them with the necessary services to help them manage their daily living. This being the case, a multiprofessional team of experts is often needed to sort out the diagnosis and treatment of rare diseases.
Tyks attends to rare diseases regardless of medical specialty. There are not, however, open care units for rare diseases at all departments of the university hospital. To correct for this shortcoming, the Unit for rare diseases has been established. It aims at improving the organization of the treatment of rare diseases. The management of a number of rare diseases is well organized as it is, and several centres of excellence of specific rare diseases are running.
Rare paediatric lung diseases