Since its establishment in 1906 in the heart of Barcelona, the identity of the Hospital Clínic is bound up with the pulse and the memory of this city. The history of the Hospital Clínic is a prolific chronicle of characters and events beginning early in the century, when Valentí Carulla, grandfather of cardiologist Valentí Fuster, urged and persuaded the government to invest resources into establishing the hospital.
At its inception the institution catered almost exclusively to the poor, the doctors did not charge fees and the tasks of nursing fell to the nuns, and so the first directors often had to put their own money into it. Despite the difficulties, the Clínic had some of the most prestigious physicians of the era, such as August Pi i Sunyer, who in the 1920s converted the Clínic into a centre of research excellence; and the surgeon Moisès Broggi, who was in charge of the only emergency department that existed during the Civil War.
Much later, other figures appeared who were to be written into the pages of the hospital's story, such as Josep Maria Gil i Vernet, who in 1965 performed the first kidney transplant in Spain; Ciril Rozman, the man behind first allogenic bone marrow transplant in Spain in 1976; and Laureano Fernández-Cruz, who in 1983 performed the first pancreas transplant.
Because it was run efficiently and properly and offered humane and cutting-edge healthcare, the Clínic was awarded a C class accreditation as a “high-technology and reference hospital". And with the passage of time it has become much more than a hospital. Today it is the genuine driving force of one of the leading reference institutions of the health sciences in Spain: the Grupo Clínic.
The Hospital Clínic has turned 100 while undergoing a profound process of renewal. Under the direction of Dr Joan Rodés, an an ambitious work plan has been completed and three revolutionary projects have been designed which bode well for the hospital in the twenty-first century: the Prism project, the most innovative and radical reform in hospital management which has recently been implemented in Spain; the Nexus health informatics project; and the Centro Esther Koplowitz (CEK) for biomedical research, which was inaugurated in 2010.
The long and successful history of Hospital Clínic owes much not only to the intuition of its founders, the vision of successive directors and the support of public and private institutions, but also, above all, to the great professionalism, commitment, spirit and dedication of its staff, which has achieved excellence that has spread to all the specialties. They constitute the heart of the institution that has beat for one hundred years in the tireless pursuit of professional and human quality.