Founded in 1982, the complex was new to Switzerland, and the locals were not ready for such a scale. A 1500-bed hospital seemed to be too expensive, unnecessary, and occupied too much territory. But now the residents of Lausanne are joking that it would be worthwhile to remove the cathedral so that it does not block the CHUV.
CHUV's first 4,700 employees were blinded by the technical excellence of their new job. "For me, it was a symbol of Swiss prosperity," said Alberto Crespo. "Even visitors from France and the United States were very impressed." Pierre-Francois Louvre first opened the door of the Centre in 1981 as an intern. "I perceived this celebration of modern medicine as something extraordinary. This building promised a transition to perfect medicine that can withstand competition of the United States. "
The chief cook of the central building, Jean-Jacques Rench, who came to work here in 1983, was "completely fascinated" with perfectly thought-out equipment, thanks to which the kitchen produced 4,000 lunches and dinners a day (today there are around 5,000), although now his memories are mixed with bitterness: "Over the years, the staff of the kitchen has been seriously reduced. We used to have time to invent new recipes. And now my chefs do not even have a free minute to taste the novelties."
Over the years, the Hospital has been constantly reorganised, and the most important step forward was its informatisation. "Every year we produced around 1.4 kilometres of shelving with medical records," recalls Alberto Crespo. "It took fifteen years to digitise all this data." Conflicts between patients and the staff are another change. In the 1980s, the legal department of CHUV dealt with a dozen court disputes per year, while today their number barely reaches 150.
"In 1960, at the height of financial euphoria, I wanted to construct something gigantic, but I did not known what," recalls Professor Vincent Barras of the University Institute of Medical and Health History. "The idea was to rationalise and centralise medical services," said Barras. "In the second half of the 20th century, CHUV became a symbol of medical institutions' development; it combine research centres, student practice spaces and regional hospitals. Combining all these functions in one place is never easy."
Still, there is no limit to perfection. All wards in the main building will have been gradually renovated by 2025. Medical departments are separated from scientific ones. Laboratories and administrative structures were removed from the town. A city hospital will appear to provide medical services to the population. The building consists of hundreds of beds on the 11th floor of a high-rise building.
An investment of 170,000,000 Swiss francs will allow the CHUV Children's Unit to be combined with the Lausanne Children's Hospital located in the new L-shaped building neighbouring the metro station.