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Dr J.C.T van der Lugt


During my training as an orthopedic surgeon, I came across a Dutch airlift for orthopedic patients to Alicante in Spain. This project was started in 2001 by the Red Cross Hospital (later merged into the HagaZiekenhuis) because of long waiting lists for orthopedic operations in the Netherlands. What struck me was the very high level of patient satisfaction with this rather special solution. Their joint problem was solved during a kind of mini holiday.
Years later, I myself worked in the HagaZiekenhuis as a PhD orthopedic surgeon and medical manager. At the time, too, care in the Netherlands was being budgeted for and waiting lists were mounting.

Start Spain

Due to my wife's Spanish background, I was already regularly in southern Spain; in 2017 we bought our own flat in Marbella. I also registered as a specialist in Spain in 2018. Every 2 months I then started performing orthopedic consultations at Hospital Ceram in Marbella. There I met FlexClinics who were looking for a collaboration for orthopedic care in southern Spain. At the end of 2019 we started the first operations, also for patients from the Netherlands. Unfortunately, the Corona crisis forced us to stay within the Netherlands. Fortunately, we were able to operate on patients in Utrecht in a newly built surgery complex. We started operating there in September 2020 and operated on both Dutch and international patients. In August 2021, we resumed our operations in Marbella.

Current work

In addition to these activities, I have continued my full practice at the Haga Hospital and later at the Reinier Haga orthopedic Centre with great pleasure. As of 2017, I have even become a trainer of the new generation of orthopedic surgeons there. I have also continued to specialise in repair surgery for hip and knee replacements that have failed. In 2020, we even started robot surgery at the Reinier Haga Orthopedic Centre. All in all, a very fun and challenging work environment, but my Spanish ambitions remained dormant.

The choice of emigration

We made the decision to emigrate as a family anyway. My wife is training as a sworn interpreter-translator Dutch-Spanish and Spanish-Dutch, our 3 children are in elementary school and can still adjust relatively easily, and both FlexClinics and Hospital Ceram believe in an orthopedic practice in Marbella. And now Cenyt Hospital as well.

The ambition

After a year in Spain, I can only say that I have been welcomed with open arms. After starting at Hospital Ceram, I started at Hospital Vithas Xanit Estepona in November 2023. People were impressed with the anterior, muscle-sparing, surgical method for placement of hip replacements and the minimally invasive method for placement of knee replacements. That patients could stand on their feet again 4 hours after surgery and go home the next day was new on the Costa del Sol. In addition to insured patients, I also wanted to be able to serve private patients, which is why I founded Marbella Sports and Orthopedics together with Ricardo Marques of CostaSpine and orthopedist Jan Willem van Ommeren, where we focus particularly on non-operative orthopedics. As of October 1, I am also working with an international team of experienced specialists at the Compass Clinic in Estepona for private care. For the company Stryker, I became a consultant to introduce the anterior hip approach in the region of Malaga. In the near future, I would also like to work on the introduction of the surgical robot.

I work 4 days a month at Flexclinics in Utrecht, for consultations and (robotic) surgeries.

In conclusion, as a family we made a good choice to move our lives to Spain. The work-life balance, the weather and the opportunities to pursue new activities give us a lot of positive energy.

Kind regards,



Joris van der Lugt
Orthopedic surgeon

Joris van der Lugt