Planning for the MacLehose Medical Rehabilitation Centre was started in 1979 by the Hong Kong Society for Rehabilitation in response to the Government's Rehabilitation Programme Development Plan which outlined the need for provision of more resident rehabilitation centres.

The Centre, named after Sir Murray MacLehose, the then Governor of Hong Kong, was officially opened on 7 December 1984. It was the first and only specialised institution for the medical rehabilitation of the physically disabled on Hong Kong Island.

The management of the Centre was transferred to the Hospital Authority on 1 December 1991.