The Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children is a tertiary care children’s hospital in Colombo, Sri Lanka. With a bed-strength of over 900, it is now considered to be the largest children’s hospital in the world. Established by public subscription in 1895 as the Lady Havelock Hospital for Women and Children, it was named the Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children in 1910. Both these distinguished ladies were the respective wives of successive British Governors in Ceylon – Sir Arthur Havelock and Sir Joseph West Ridgeway.
Lady Ridgeway Hospital serves as the national referral center for pediatric care for Sri Lanka. It also serves as local pediatric hospital for the population in and around Colombo city for emergency and outpatient care.
All services are free of charge in keeping with the free state health care policy of the Sri Lankan Government.
The Outpatient Department (OPD) and the Accident Service Department of this hospital is open for services 24 hours a day for 365 days. Out patient clinics conducted by the relevant consultants of inpatient units and visiting consultants of the OPD maintain a continuous link with patients discharged from their units. There is also an emergency treatment unit, diarrhea treatment unit and immunization clinic which operate in the OPD to improve the quality of care. The outpatients’ attendance is over one million per year and about 50,000 children are immunized annually.
Currently the hospital has six general paediatric Medical and four general paediatric Surgical units. It further has specialised units in Cardiology and Cardiothoracic surgery, Orthopaedic, Rheumatology and Rehabilitation, Dermatology, Ophthalmology, Psychiatry, Neonatology, Intensive Care, Orthodontics, Maxillo-Facial Surgery, Plastic Surgery, Burns and ENT Surgery.
In addition to these Radiology, Pathology, Haematology, Microbiology and Anesthesiology departments headed by senior consultants provide quality, assistance to both inpatients and outpatients.
As this Hospital acts as a premier teaching hospital under the Ministry of Health, it is responsible for undergraduate and most of the post graduate medical and surgical paediatric training. Undergraduate and postgraduate training is provided by all units of the hospital. It is affiliated to the Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo and Postgraduate Institute of Medicine. The two university units to this hospital are also directly involved in undergraduate and postgraduate medical training. Intern medical officers are also accommodated for their six-month internship training at the hospital.