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History of the Resort

HEALTH RESORTS NEAR RÓWNICA

The medical tradition of Ustroń dates back to the end of the 18th century, when the local climate and therapeutic material deposits were found to stimulate the treatment of respiratory, rheumatoid or muscle and joint diseases, as well as fatigue. Moreover, they promoted convalescence after previous diseases and injuries.

In the second half of the 18th century, after the development of the iron plant, hot gravel was used for the preparation of baths. This was inspired by an observation made by the plant workers who discovered the positive effects of baths, taken for hygienic purposes, on their health. Soluble substances were probably washed out of the gravel into the bath, providing effects similar to those induced by mineral baths.

The increasing popularity of the baths encouraged the owner of the iron plant, Albrecht Kazimierz, Duke of Cieszyn, to erect a Spa House with the baths in 1802–1804. The building has survived, and it presently houses the Ustroń hotel.

As the iron ore started to run out, and production in the plant diminished, so did the interest of patients in the health resort. And when in 1897 the big stove was finally shut down, resulting in a lack of gravel for the baths, a long delayed construction of the baths and Spa House at the present Mickiewicza Street started. The discovery of large deposits of peat in the area prompted the construction. The bath house was opened in 1901, and the external forms of the buildings from that period have not been changed. In the interbellum period the number of summer tourists and patients in Ustroń increased. This was partially due to the development, modernisation and increasing attractiveness of the town, e.g. electrification, street illumination and promenades built along the Vistula River. In the 1930s, a swimming pool and a road to Równica were built.

In 1945–1946 the fixed assets of the resort were taken over by the social insurance institution. In 1953, the bath house was claimed by a newly created State Health Resort Company in Jastrzębie-Zdrój; however, soon a decision was taken to build mines within the Rybnicko-Jastrzębski Coal Region, which resulted in the closure of the health resorts in Jastrzębie-Zdrój, and, as a consequence, restoration of the resort in Ustroń.

According to plans at that time, in Zawodzie, a part of Ustroń, a Rheumatology Hospital, Sanatorium and 28 treatment and rehabilitation houses were to be established. As a result of the creation and development of healthcare, the following were opened:

1973 – the Róża Sanatorium,

1975 – Śląski Rheumatology Hospital, which became a model centre for rheumatological and locomotor diseases,

1976 – the Wilga Sanatorium,

1977 – the Malwa Sanatorium,

1977 – the Złocień Holiday and Health House,

1986 – the Ustroń Sanatorium of the State Health Resort Company in Ustroń. The sanatorium has 800 places in cardiology, rheumatology and locomotor rehabilitation departments, as well as neurological and respiratory rehabilitation. It receives 11 thousand patients annually, and specialises in the treatment of:

  • locomotor diseases, including rheumatic diseases, spinal conditions and post-traumatic conditions,
  • cardiovascular diseases – ischaemic heart disease, hypertension, conditions following myocardial infarction,
  • respiratory diseases – chronic bronchitis, dust-related respiratory diseases, asthma.

1990 – branch of the Repty Upper Silesian Rehabilitation Centre,

1991 – the Elektron Sanatorium, transformed from a holiday and rehabilitation resort,

1991 – first section of the present Natural Therapy Institute, with cubic capacity of over 85,000 m3; the institute is distinguished by its cutting edge architectural solutions, and also regarding the equipment and balneotechnics. The structure comprises:

  • six rooms for kinetic physical therapy, with a total floor area of over 1,500 m2,
  • bath hydrotherapy unit with 50 baths for salt water, whirlpool, galvanic and carbonic acid baths, as well as for underwater massage,
  • peat wrap unit with 28 stations for peat wrapping and baths,
  • 4 swimming pools filled with 3.5–4% natural salt water, which are effective in the treatment and rehabilitation of locomotor diseases, especially after injuries,
  • rooms for pharmaceutical and salt water inhalations, as well as a full range of electrotherapy and light therapy,
  • stations for cardiac training equipped with cutting edge monitoring devices for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, especially post-infarction rehabilitation and rehabilitation following cardiac surgical procedures. 

1995 – salt water drills: U-3 and U-3A,

1995 – hydrotherapy unit, together with rehabilitation swimming pools in the Natural Therapy Institute, and in the Health Resort Clinic, providing services for the outpatients of the Health Resort Natural Therapy Institute. Simultaneously, an analytical laboratory was opened, as well as a diagnostic and densitometry laboratory for cardiological assessment, an exercise test laboratory, and a cardiac rhythm dysfunction and ultrasonography laboratory.

In the next few years construction of various parts of the Health Resort Natural Therapy Institute was completed, and the resort was successfully transferred from Jastrzębie-Zdrój to Ustroń.

In August 2010, the State Treasury finished the process and finalised the privatisation of the Przedsiębiorstwo Uzdrowiskowe Ustroń S.A. The Polish-American Heart Clinics Company became the controlling shareholder.

Polish-American Heart Clinics is a well-established company which has achieved great successes in the field of cardiology and cardiac surgery. It was started in 2000 by a group of outstanding Polish and American physicians, brought together by the idea of popularising cutting edge methods in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases.

The diseases mentioned above also nowadays constitute primary indications for treatment in Ustroń.

Due to the ongoing changes in the disease profile of our society, the premises, equipment and knowledge of the personnel had to be adapted to the present requirements. Contemporary spa therapy is characterised by the intensive use of rehabilitation methods, and due to the high costs of the treatments, the previous approach to treating patients in health resorts is becoming a thing of the past.