Maria Middelares General Hospital looks back on its centuries-long tradition in healthcare that has led to today’s innovative hospital where the patient’s experience comes first.
Eight centuries of health care
As early as the 13th century, the Cistercian nuns of Ghent took care of the sick. First in the Hospital of Our Dear Lady (Onze-Lieve-Vrouwhospitaal) next to St Michael's Church, later just outside the Ghent city gates in the Bijloke Hospital.
When the sisters purchased a castle estate on the Kortrijksesteenweg in 1934, it was given the name ‘Maria Middelares’. The castle was converted into a hospital, and by 1939 a left and right wing had been added.
In 1957, a separate pavilion with a maternity unit and a gynaecology department were built. During his career, the inspirational Dr Daels helped more than 50,000 children come into the world. At that time, no less than 1 in 50 Flemish people were born in Maria Middelares General Hospital.
The campus expanded considerably in 1982 with a building for general surgery. With the new building, the hospital received new impetus and an extremely rapid technological development commenced.
On 1 January 1999 AZ Maria Middelares merged with Sint-Jozef in Gentbrugge, a clinic which the Sisters of the H. Vincentius a Paulo from Waarschoot founded together with Dr. Odilon Van der Linden. This created a modern hospital with two campuses.
Birth of a new hospital
In 2000, the Flemish government recommended centralising all acute care on one campus. This recommendation gave rise to a new strategic care plan, the most important achievements of which are:
- Witje Wiebel Nursery and Maternity Unit
During the first phase of this plan, the 'Witje Wiebel nursery' and the existing maternity building, which were located behind the current hospital, were moved to the front of the site (along Kortrijksesteenweg) to make way for the site where the new complex was erected in the next four years.
The maternity clinic of Maria Middelares General Hospital was housed in a separate pavilion with a Maternity Unit and a Gynaecology Department. Today, this building functions as a modern skills laboratory: a training and education centre for employees. The authentic infrastructure ensures that training can be targeted.
- New building for Maria Middelares General Hospital
Our new building was opened in 2015 (phase 2 of the global master plan for Maria Middelares General Hospital, as approved by the Municipal Executive of the city of Ghent). On 10 April, Maria Middelares General Hospital relocated 290 patients to the brand new building in one day through an above-ground, temporary, heated and illuminated 241-metre long tunnel. Watch ZorgAndersTv’s report here.
- Renovation of Maria Middelares Medical Centre
In the meantime, we continue to invest in the Medical Centre in Ghent-Bruges so that we can continue to offer ‘good care next door’ there as well. Since 2016, the outpatient clinic, radiology and dialysis departments have provided excellent local care.