Doctors and nurses require dedicated training and special skills to help them deal with children. Those trained in paediatric medicine care for infants, children and adolescents, typically from birth to 18 years of age. In some cases of congenital disease, such as heart disease, paediatric physicians continue seeing their patients as they evolve into adulthood.
You will find a ward dedicated to children’s health in most secondary care hospitals. But the best paediatric healthcare is provided by a select few outstanding children’s hospitals around the world.
Children’s hospitals typically offer a full paediatric service, covering the whole spectrum from research and education to medicine and surgery. Here are our top picks for children’s hospitals stretching from the United States to Singapore.
1. Boston Children’s Hospital (United States)
Boston Children’s Hospital is one of the most prestigious hospitals in America It has been the Number 1 paediatric hospital seven years in a row, according to U.S. News & World Report. Comprising 6 Centres, 32 Departments, and 299 Programmes and Services, it is affiliated with Harvard Medical Center and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. It operates its own critical care transport team (Boston MedFlight) and has the world’s largest research team in paediatrics. Over three thousand scientists search for medical advances in fields such as proteomics, bioengineering, image analysis, genetics and genomics, animal modelling, biobanks, gene editing, bioinformatics, and disease-specific stem cell lines. Specific programs include the Advanced Foetal Care Center, the Paediatric Transplant Center, a world-leading hip preservation program, hydrocephalus and epilepsy centers, 3D printing to improve surgery, and clinical genomic diagnostics.
2. Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (United States)
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) opened in 1855 and was the nation’s first hospital devoted exclusively to paediatrics. It has been responsible for numerous innovative breakthroughs and medical discoveries over the years. U.S. News & World Report’s Honour Roll has recognized it as an elite paediatric hospital for 14 consecutive years. The hospital treats complex conditions in patients from all over the world, handling more than one million emergency department visits every year. Outstanding achievements include a 90% remission rate for paediatric lymphoblastic leukaemia, one of the most successful peanut desensitization trials in history and the world’s first bi-lateral hand transplant. In addition, they offer low dose radiology, specialized programs for rare diseases, nuclear medicine, Tibion bionic leg prostheses, a Center for lymphatic imaging and interventions, and a cochlear implant program.
3. Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (United States)
The CCHMC has the busiest paediatric ER in the country with nearly 600 active beds. It is southwest Ohio’s only level-I paediatric trauma centre and leads the way in high tech innovation. The Center carries out minimally invasive robotic surgery using the Da Vinci Surgical System, and employs a robotic “exoskeleton” gait technology, the Lokomat, to help patients recover from muscular deterioration and nervous system damage. Telemedicine support via video is offered around the clock for minor illness and injury, and the Hospital also provides occupational therapy and physical therapy.
4. Texas Children’s Hospital (United States)
Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, Texas, is the largest paediatric care centre in the United States with 639 licensed beds. The not-for-profit organization is consistently ranked among the top children’s hospitals in the nation. It became famous for its treatment of David Vetter (aka “Bubble Boy”) who lived for 12 years in a purpose-built sterile bubble because of his severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID). The hospital also carried out one of the world’s only triple transplants (heart, lung, and liver) on an adolescent. With a focus not just on patient care but also education and research, the Hospital has won numerous awards including Best Children’s hospitals Honour Roll 2020-2021 for paediatric cardiology and heart surgery, as well as pulmonology. High-tech specialties include cardiovascular genetics, urogenital reconstruction, MRI guided laser ablation surgery, a 3D Printing bone marrow transplant Clinic, and a Microbiome centre.
5. SickKids – The Hospital for Sick Children (Canada)
Formed in 1875, SickKids is one of the world’s most respected paediatric academic health science centres and includes professionals from all disciplines. The hospital was established in 1875 and handles 15,000 inpatient admissions and 300,000 visits to more than 100 clinics annually. It deals with 50,000 emergency cases and carries out 13,000 operations each year.
Affiliated with the University of Toronto, it is Canada’s leading research hospital and the largest centre dedicated to children’s health. Research breakthroughs include the identification of genes causing diseases such as cystic fibrosis, Duchenne muscular dystrophy and Tay-Sachs disease.
6. Great Ormond Street Hospital (UK)
Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) is an international Centre of Excellence in child healthcare and one of the world’s leading children’s hospitals. It hosts the UK’s only paediatric National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) together with its research partner, the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health. the Hospital provides the widest range of specialist health services for children, with a total of 63 different clinical specialties, and treats about 240,000 outpatients and 44,000 inpatients via mostly inbound referrals. Specialties include cardiac surgery, paediatric intensive surgery, neurosurgery, cancer, nephrology, and renal transplants.
7. K.K. Women’s and Children’s Hospital (Singapore)
KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital was founded in 1858 and has become a leader in Paediatrics and Neonatology. The 830-bed hospital delivers tertiary services for high-risk conditions and is also an academic medical centre. KKH conducts world-class clinical training and research and is the major teaching hospital for three universities. It has accredited specialist programs and is highly rated for the quality of its clinical teaching and its commitment to research. Key areas include cardiothoracic surgery, cancer treatment, genetics, infectious diseases, and the VIVA-KKH Paediatric Brain and Solid Tumour Program. Research is focused on solving clinical problems and providing a basis for sound clinical practices and policies.
Birmingham Children’s Hospital is a leading paediatric teaching centre in the United Kingdom and features Europe’s largest single site paediatric ICU, treating over 90,000 children every year. The hospital provides general and emergency care as well as 34 specialties, from liver transplants to leukaemia research, cardiology, and neonatal surgery.
High tech services include a cutting-edge 3 Tesla MRI scanner only found in the most robust children’s centres. Other specialties include blood and marrow transplantation, laparoscopic surgeries, craniofacial surgery, liver transplant surgeries and their PICU.
9. Royal Children’s Hospital (Australia)
Celebrating 150 years in 2020, Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) is a major specialist paediatric hospital and the designated state-wide major trauma centre for paediatrics in Victoria. The 150-year-old Hospital is also a Nationally Funded Centre for cardiac and liver transplantation, treating patients from Australia and overseas. The award-winning RCH is co-located with the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) and the University of Melbourne, performing ground-breaking patient-orientated paediatric research. Services include a paediatric rehabilitation service, paediatric palliative care, a forensic paediatric medical service, and an infant hearing screening program.
10. National Center for Child Health and Development (Japan)
Tokyo’s National Center for Child Health and Development is designated by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare as a core clinical research Center. It is also a center for infant cancer care and a disaster coordination hospital. It develops innovative research and treatment methods in paediatrics. Strengths of the Center include treatment of premature babies, living donor transplants, retinopathy treatments, gene and cell therapy, microtia treatment and a biobank. It is robustly funded and features unrivalled talent for unique challenges.
11. Mount Elizabeth Hospital (Singapore)
Singapore’s Mount Elizabeth Hospital is JCI accredited and belongs to the Parkway Group that operates hospitals all over Asia. In addition to specializing in cardiac treatment and neurosurgery it houses a private cancer centre. The paediatric unit provides a neonatal ICU, paediatric surgery, orthopaedics, cardiology, nephrology, oncology, haemato-oncology, and stem cell therapy, as well as multidisciplinary medical, surgical, and rehabilitative care of infants, children, and adolescents.