The tradition of the Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Hospital “Prim. Dr. Martin Horvat” goes back to the Austro-Hungarian period. Owing to the beneficial Mediterranean climate and its location on the peninsula of St Pelagius, the hospital had been an attractive coastal health resort for the treatment of bone diseases of the then European aristocracy right from its founding.
The hospital complex was built under the patronage of Maria Theresa and inaugurated in her presence on 22 May 1888. The hospital’s opening was supported by Vienna-based doctors, particularly by prof. Luigi Monti, the first hospital director.
The hospital’s reputation as a health resort, as well as an ideal place for spending a holiday and undergoing orthopaedic rehabilitation, lasted for a century, and it ensured the loyalty of Austrian patients who gladly used the hospital services, mainly under long-term contracts with the AUVA Austrian insurance company. The Department of Surgery was active until the 1990s. Today, hospital treatment is based on physical medicine and rehabilitation with patients staying on either full or half board. Treatment in the hospital encompasses various types of physical therapy and rehabilitation, i.e. kinesiotherapy, hydrotherapy and electrotherapy in combination with beneficial properties of the surrounding nature (helio- and thalassotherapy).
The first therapeutic beach suitable for persons with health difficulties was opened in June 2017.