25 Most Famous Hospitals in the World

by Linda on December 17, 2009

“Famous” is a tough concept to measure, especially when it comes to hospitals. Some individuals might identify with fictional hospitals (such as General Hospital), while other individuals might think of a hospital that recently was in the news or that is local. To help define the twenty-five most famous hospitals listed below, we chose real-world hospitals that are currently operational and that have become famous nationwide for their histories or contributions to science.

Some hospitals listed below have become famous for medical tourism. Others are famous for their research facilities or for their medical skills or philanthropy. Some are famous simply for their historical beginnings. The following links are listed alphabetically, with no preference as to level of fame.

  1. Bangkok Hospital PhuketBangkok Hospital Phuket: Part of the largest health-care providers in southeast Asia, this hospital specializes in plastic and cosmetic surgery and is a destination resource for medical tourism. They also provide an educational Web site as well as marketing schemes such as free check-ups for every passenger who flies from Jakarta and Medan to Phuket by Air Asia in December 2009. These tools help keep this hospital in the news.
  2. Bumrungrad Medical CenterBumrungrad Medical Center: This hospital also is a world medical destination, located in Bangkok, Thailand. The largest private hospital in southeast Asia, Bumrungrad offers state-of-the-art diagnostic, therapeutic and intensive care facilities to over one million patients annually. Over 400,000 of those patients arrive from outside Thailand. This hospital was the first Asian hospital accredited by JCI (Joint Commission International).
  3. Cedars-SinaiCedars-Sinai: Cedars-Sinai physicians and scientists are leaders in basic and clinical research, bringing advancements in medicine directly from the laboratory to the bedside. Located in Los Angeles, this hospital also is the destination for many Hollywood stars who plan surgery or to have babies. While this hospital caters to all health needs, they are most noted for cancer research and heart surgery.
  4. Centro Medico ABCCentro Médico ABC: ABC (American British Cowdray Medical Center) in Mexico is affiliated with Methodist International, a partnership that increases integrated quality control and safety standards. Charity health care of the economically challenged residents in areas surrounding the two ABC facilities is a permanent mission of the organization, but the facility also is noted for high technical standards. It is accredited by the JCI.
  5. Betty Ford CenterEisenhower Medical Center: This not-for-profit hospital is located in Rancho Mirage, California. Although noted for its open heart surgery, this hospital is most noted for the Betty Ford Center, established in 1982 by First Lady Betty Ford. This center has seen many celebrities pass through its doors over the years. Ford’s decision to open this center was based upon her own battles with alcohol dependence and opioid analgesic addiction.
  6. Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi HospitalFaculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University: Also known as Mahidol University, this is one of the most famous hospitals throughout Thailand and southeast Asia. Affiliated with Mahidol University, both the expanding hospital and its university are noted worldwide for outstanding achievements in teaching, research, international academic collaboration and professional services.
  7. Great Ormand Street Hospital for ChildrenGreat Ormond Street Hospital for Children: Founded in London in 1852 as the Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children became the first hospital to provide medical in-patient beds specifically for children in the English-speaking world. The hospital works with the UCL Institute for Child Health, its medical school, and is the largest center for research into childhood illness outside the United States and Canada.
  8. Groote Schuur HospitalGroote Schuur Hospital: This government-funded teaching hospital is situated on the slopes of Devil’s Peak in the city of Cape Town, South Africa. It was founded in 1938 and is famous for being the institution where the first human heart transplant took place, conducted by University of Cape Town-educated surgeon Christiaan Barnard on the patient Louis Washkansky.
  9. Hospitaller Order of Saint John of GodHospitaller Order of Saint John of God: This group of hospitals, located throughout the world (St. Menni Alzheimer’s Unit in Los Angeles, California, shown here), is noted for its history as well as for its health and social care provided to millions of sick, vulneralbe and disadvantaged people in 52 countries. Its founder? St. John of God (1495-1550). World headquarters is located in Rome.
  10. Johns Hopkins HospitalJohns Hopkins Hospital: Diverse and inclusive, The Johns Hopkins Hospital in collaboration with the faculty of The Johns Hopkins University supports medical education and research, and provides innovative patient-centered care to prevent, diagnose and treat human illness from its base in Baltimore, Maryland, and at full-time campuses elsewhere in Maryland, Washington, D.C., Italy, China, and Singapore.
  11. Klinik HirslandenKlinik Hirslanden: This healthcare system offers thirteen private hospitals throughout Switzerland that offer first-class medical service through affiliation with almost 1,500 medical specialists with years of experience. Well known for their quality of care, Klinik Hirslanden also believes in making that hospital stay as short as possible without compromising health. They serve approximately 270,000 patients per year within their hospitals for afflictions that range from headaches to sleep disorders.
  12. Matilda International HospitalMatilda International Hospital: This hospital is famous for its beginnings as a project included in the will of Granville Sharp, the husband of Matilda Lincolne Sharp, a couple who traveled to Hong Kong from London. The hospital opened in 1907, mainly to provide free care to expatriates; however, it has grown to serve as a not-for-profit hospital that serves Hong Kong residents and a wider region. Its core services include maternity, surgery, health assessment and health services.
  13. Mayo ClinicMayo Clinic: Possibly the most recognized hospital worldwide, the Mayo Clinic is the first and largest integrated, non-profit group practice in the world. More than 3,300 physicians, scientists and researchers and 46,000 allied health staff work at Mayo Clinic, which has sites in Rochester, Minn., Jacksonville, Fla., and Scottsdale/Phoenix, Ariz. Collectively, the three locations treat more than half a million people each year.
  14. McLean HospitalMcLean Hospital: Located in Massachusetts, McLean Hospital is the largest psychiatric facility of Harvard medical School, an affiliate of Massachusetts General Hospital and a member of Partners HealthCare. Outside it’s ranking as one of the top psychiatric hospitals in the world, this place is noted for its patients, including mathematician John Nash, poets robert Lowell and Sylvia Plath and singer-songwriters James Taylor and Ray Charles.
  15. Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer CenterMemorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center: As one of the world’s premier cancer centers and oldest cancer hospital, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center is committed to exceptional patient care, leading-edge research, and superb educational programs. They also are one of 40 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, affirming their leadership in research, patient care, and education.
  16. Papworth HospitalPapworth Hospital: Known throughout the world as the largest specialist cardiothoracic hospital, located in Cambridge, UK. Their services include cardiology, respiratory medicine, and cardiothoracic surgery and they are the country’s main heart and lung transplant center. It is home to the first successful heart transplant in the UK and one of the world’s first beating-heart transplants.
  17. ParkwayHealthParkwayHealth: This link leads to the Web site for a number of hospitals within a Singapore healthcare system.They have an extensive network that also reaches across Asia, Europe and the Middle East and are committed to being a global leader in integrated healthcare. As part of ParkwayHealth’s talent development initiative, the company has rolled out the award-winning Healthcare Executive Residency Program for people who are inspired to establish a career in the field of healthcare.
  18. Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical CenterRonald Reagan UCLA Medical Center: This hospital is located on the campus of the University of California, Los Angeles. The center has research facilities that cover nearly all major medicinal specialties as well as dentistry and ophthalmology. The emergency department is certified as a level I trauma center for adults and children. Most recently, UCLA Medical Center terminated the employment of several employees and disciplined others for viewing Britney Spears’ confidential medical records.
  19. Shriners Hospitals for ChildrenShriners Hospitals for Children: This is a network of twenty-two pediatric non-profit hospitals located across North America. They provide specialty care at no charge to their patients and families. Known as “The World’s Greatest Philanthropy,” the only qualification is that the patient be under age eighteen and treatable. The hospitals are owned and operated by the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (Shriners).
  20. St. Jude Children's Research HospitalSt. Jude Children’s Research Hospital: This hospital, located in Memphis, Tennessee, remains famous for discoveries that have completely altered how the world treats children who have cancer and other catastrophic diseases. St. Jude researchers are published and cited more often in high impact publications than any other private pediatric oncology research institution in America. All patients accepted for treatment at St. Jude are treated without regard to the family’s ability to pay.
  21. The American Hospital of ParisThe American Hospital of Paris: This private and non-profit Franco-American institution contains 197 surgical, medical and obstetric beds in various locations along with the latest in diagnostic and treatment care. It is the only civilian hospital in Europed accredited by the JCI and also is certified in France by the Haute Autorité de Santé. This hospital relies solely on private and corporate donors to benefit the public at large.
  22. Lambarene HospitalThe Lambaréné Hospital: Founded in 1913, this hospital’s claim to fame is its affiliation with Dr. Albert Schweitzer, who founded the hospital based upon his research in that country. Now this hospital conducts 40,000 patient examinations, 5000 operations, 600 births, 80,000 labor-tests and 4000 dental treatments yearly and has expanded to include a research center.
  23. Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and HospitalTianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital: Located in Huanhuxi Road,Hexi District,Tianjin, China, this hospital is the birthplace of Chinese oncology. Founded in 1861 as London Christian Church Hospital, its current status is worldwide, providing a base for cancer prevention, treatment, training and research in oncology from China throughout Asia, Europe and in conferences throughout the world.
  24. Prince of Wales HospitalPrince of Wales Hospital: Located in Sydney, Australia, this hospital is affiliated with the University of New South Wales and is one of the premier medical teaching facilities in Australia. Each year more than 30,000 acute patients are admitted and about 40,000 patients are treated in their emergency department. They also attend to around 900,000 non-admitted patients each year through their Community Health, outpatients and rural outreach services.
  25. Walter Reed Army Medical CenterWalter Reed Army Medical Center: The WRAMC is the U.S. Army flagship medical center, located in Washington, DC. It serves more than 150,000 active and retired personnel from all branches of the military. This hospital most recently made the news in 2007 for cases of alleged neglect reported by outpatient soldiers and their family members. The controversy and investigation are ongoing and has spread to other military health facilities and throughout the Department of Veterans Affairs health care system.

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