History of the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona

The history of the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona starts when, at the end of the 19th century, Dr. Valentí Carulla, grandfather of the cardiologist Dr. Valentí Fuster, encouraged and convinced the authorities to invest resources in establishing the hospital, since the Hospital de la Santa Creu on Carrer Hospital had become too small to meet the healthcare needs of the city of Barcelona.  The most important dates in the history of the Hospital are listed below.


First stone

June 1895

On 27 May, as part of the Barcelona Universal Exposition, ​​a symbolic act was organized during which the architect Josep Domènech i Estepà laid the first stone. However, work on the new hospital did not start until 25 June 1895.


Opening of the Hospital Clínic

October 1906

It was the first clinical hospital in Spain to combine healthcare with teaching. The academic activity was established first and the healthcare soon after.  The opening ceremony was presided over by Dr. Joaquim Bonet, Rector of the University of Barcelona and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.


Bombing during the Spanish Civil War

March 1936

The hospital suffered damage during the Spanish Civil War and shots were fired at the building three times. Between 16 and 18 March 1938, the city of Barcelona was bombed thirteen times leaving over a thousand people dead, and many injured people who were taken to the Hospital Clínic.  There was generalized panic and the hospitals had to treat many more people than they were capable of dealing with. The Hospital Clínic became a model hospital during the Civil War.


Change of name

February 1950

The hospital's name was changed to the Hospital Clínic i Provincial, with the creation of the Board of Trustees, which Barcelona Provincial Council formed part of and played a decisive role with the election of almost the entire management board. The hospital was modernised and, after a few years, renovation work started on the wards. The old model with large wards was done away with and smaller rooms with one, two or four beds were created.


First kidney transplant

July 1965

The urologist Josep M. Gil-Vernet's group, with the collaboration of the nephrologist Antoni Caralps, led the team who carried out the first successful kidney transplant in Spain. This opened the door to a highly efficient therapeutic procedure, which became common practice in the hospital.


Consolidation of the model

February 1972

In 1972, the professionalization of the hospital was finally consolidated. It had begun four years earlier with the signing of more contracts. A total of 375 doctor's positions were called for:  35 heads of service, 20 heads of section, 128 consultants and 192 resident doctors. And the number of doctors rose from 220 to 400. The healthcare model was consolidated in services and departments.


First allogeneic bone marrow transplant in Spain

July 1976

On 12 June 1976, Dr. Ciril Rozman and his team carried out the first allogeneic bone marrow transplant in Spain.


First pancreas transplant in Spain

February 1983

The first pancreas transplant in Spain was performed on 3 February 1983. The operation was led by doctors Josep M. Gil-Vernet and Laureano Fernández-Cruz. A kidney transplant was carried out during the same operation. In September 1983, Dr. Jesús González Merlo, Head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, carried out the first fallopian tube transplant in Spain.


Foundation of IDIBAPS

July 1996

The August Pi i Sunyer Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBAPS) was founded as a biomedical research centre of excellence at the Hospital Clínic.


Opening of the Esther Koplowitz Centre (CEK)

March 2010

The Esther Koplowitz Centre is a building in which biomedical research is carried out by professionals at IDIBAPS and the Barcelona Centre for International Health Research (CRESIB). This is one of the most important patronage projects devoted to research in Spain.


Introduction of the Da Vinci Xi Robot

November 2014

Thanks to the collaboration of Cellex (Mr. Pere Mir), the Hospital Clínic became the first hospital in Spain (and one of the first in Europe) to introduce the Da Vinci Xi Robot for carrying out gastrointestinal surgery. It allows minimally invasive surgery to be performed whilst guaranteeing maximum precision. Since then, it has also been used in kidney transplants.


The world’s first 5G operation

February 2019

The Hospital Clínic performed the first operation with 5G technology during the Mobile World Congress.


The Hospital Clínic Plató Headquarters

January 2021

On 12 January 2021, the Government of Catalonia approved the incorporation of the Hospital Plató Private Foundation's healthcare activity into the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, as of 14 January. This process means that the 500 professionals from the Hospital Plató joined the Hospital Clínic's staff. Thus, the Hospital Clínic Plató Headquarters were created.