Vilnius University Hospital Santaros Klinikos started its operations as the Republican Vilnius Clinical Hospital in November 1980, when the block of therapy and diagnostics began their work. In 1982, the first patients were consulted in the Consultative Out-patient Department, whereas the block of surgery was opened in 1983.
The Hospital got its roots from the Republican Vilnius Red Cross Clinical Hospital and the Clinical Hospital of Vilnius City.
The out-patient department, Pulmonolyg and Allergology, Hematology, Gastroenterology and Dietetics, and many other departments from the Republican Vilnius Red Cross Clinical Hospital were moved to Santaros Klinikos. Cardiology, Endocrinology, Nephrology, and other departments from the University Hospital of Vilnius City have been moved to the Santaros Klinikos. The Departments of Diagnostics of Internal Diseases and Neurology have been established.
Up to 1986, late doctor Vytautas Žygas was the first Chief Doctor of the Hospital, who led the Republican Vilnius Clinical Hospital from 1956 and actively attended to the construction of this Hospital. The buildings of the Hospital were projected by architects E. Chlomauskas, R. Plyčiuvaitis-Plyčius, and Z. Liandzbergis.
Over the period from 1989 to 1996, late Juozapas Petras Radikas managed the Hospital. Under his leadership, the Hospital in 1990 changed its name to Vilnius University Santaros Hospital, and from 1996 – Vilnius University Hospital. On the basis of then-existing departments and the departments of the Faculty of Medicine of Vilnius University, the present clinics have been formed, managed by outstanding professors and docents of Vilnius University. This period after the announcement of Lithuania’s independence and in particular during the economic blockade was a difficult one due to very poor financing of the Hospital.
Under the leadership of Director General Antanas Vinkus (1996 – 2002), upon implementation of the compulsory health insurance financing system in 1997, the Hospital became the Public Institution Vilnius University Hospital (VUH) Santaros Klinikos. In 1999, the Republican Hospital of Skin and Venereal Diseases was affiliated to VUH Santaros Klinikos and the Clinic of Dermatovenereology was established. In the same year, the Clinic of Nephrourology was transferred from Vilnius University Clinical Hospital. At the initiative of A. Vinkus, the Chapel of Divine Mercy was opened in the Hospital in 2001.
Over the period from 2002 to 2013, late acad., prof. Aleksandras Laucevičius managed the Hospital.
From 2013 to 2018 the Hospital has been managed by general director prof. dr. Kęstutis Strupas. Since 2018 Santaros Klinikos General director is prof. dr. Feliksas Jankevičius.