A major reform of the primary care system was implemented in 1998, making family practitioners independent contractors with combined private and public-financed payment. In 2000, there was an estimated fertility rate of 1.2. The maternal mortality rate was 50 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births as of 1998. In 2000, the infant mortality rate was an estimated 8 per 1,000 and the overall death rate as of 2002 was 13.4 per 1,000 people. Life expectancy in 2000 averaged 71 years. In 1999, Estonia immunized children up to one year old against diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus, 95%; and measles, 92%.
The number of hospitals in Estonia decreased significantly during the 1990s, with the number of available beds cut by one-third between 1991 and 1995. As of 1998, there were 78 hospitals, with a total of 10,509 beds. The number of physicians has decreased as well, from 5,500 in 1991 to 4,311 in 1998. As of 1999, there were an estimated 3 physicians and 7.4 hospital beds per 1,000 people. The country's only medical school is the Tartu University Medical Faculty.
In 1996, eight new AIDS cases were reported. In 1999, 61 new cases of tuberculosis were reported per 100,000 people. No cases of polio or neonatal tetanus were reported in 1995.