General Faculty Hospital in Prague celebrates 230th anniversary

Photo: public domain

The first public municipal hospital opened on January 2, 1791 in the building of the former New Town Institute of Noblewomen of holy angels on Charles Square in Prague.

General Faculty Hospital in Prague,  photo: Michaela Danelová / Czech Radio

A plaque on the façade of the building states that Emperor Joseph II., and his successor Leopold II. played a leading role in the founding of the hospital. It was Joseph who laid out the rules for the establishment of general hospitals in 1781, the first of which was built in Vienna in 1784. This was followed by the setting up of general hospitals in Brno in 1786 and in Olomouc in 1787.

When it was opened the Prague hospital offered 300 beds for patients of all types, without discrimination. Landless Praguers, who were able to prove that they had lived in the city for at least 10 years and a ‘certificate of poverty’, received free care. Rooms were divided into classes, with paying patients able to use the beds in second or first class rooms. The General Hospital in Prague can also boast the longest tradition of academic medicine, with clinical education being a part of the institution since its start.