There are two general methods to classify the size of any hospital: by area occupied, and by number of beds. Some listings factor in the number of employees as well, but that might be misleading since a sprawling hospital will necessarily have a larger staff than a more compact one, at least in the non-medical fields. Be that as it may, following are a few of the largest hospitals in the world, in no particular order of size or capacity.
Many lists rank the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa as the largest, with its 3,200-bed capacity, 6,700 staff members and 173 hectares of premises. The hospital processes about 2,000 patients each day and is located in the Soweto (South West Township).
The hospital was founded in 1941 originally for convalescent British and Commonwealth troops as the Royal Imperial Hospital. After King George VI presented in 1947 medals to the soldiers in the hospital, it acquired the name Baragwanath (Cornish for ‘wheaten bread’) and later as Chris Hani Baragwanath, the additional name being that of the assassinated South African Communist Party leader.
The Clinical Centre of Serbia, however, has 3,500 beds and larger staff (7,500), yet is confined to a smaller area and therefore would appear smaller than the Baragwanath. Furthermore, it has three branches within Serbia and should thus be named as the largest by more lists, but is not.
Some lists consider the West China Hospital of Medical Science in Sichuan University as the largest hospital in the world, available data listing it to have 4,000 beds and 6,100 staff working in 46.7 hectares of hospital premises. It is located in Guoxue Alley, Chengdu, Sichuan Province.
The hospital as founded by British, American and Canadian church missionaries in 1892 as the Renji Hospital and Cunren Hospital, two separate but related hospitals. After the war, the hospital was built in its current address, but the actual name was adopted only in Year 2000.
In the other part of the world, the largest hospital would be the Ahmedabad Civil Hospital with a capacity of 2,800 beds, and working for a loan to almost double this figure (2,000 additional beds). At present it averages 6,500 deliveries and 26,000 surgeries a year, accepting about 70,000 patients annually. The hospital was built in 1952.
Meanwhile the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland remains to be the largest in the United States even though it is listed to have only less than a thousand in bed capacity, in only 8 acres of land. However, it has been rated by US World and News Reports as best over-all hospital in the US for 20 years, but fell behind the Massachusetts General Hospital in 2012.
The Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miami, Florida can also claim of the largest US hospital, with a capacity of about 2,000 beds. The hospital was founded in 1918.
The above are just a few of the world’s largest hospitals, unranked, because a hospital can add buildings to accommodate more patient beds and thus ‘grow’ bigger. Those figures and data are just for today; things might be different tomorrow.
This was a guest post by Chrissie from The OT Pratice, experts in Occupational Therapy.