Best Hospital Cities Ranking 2019

2019 Hospital City Ranking

At Medbelle, we believe that everyone should have access to good healthcare. As part of the wave of digitalized medical solutions, we’ve seen first-hand how infrastructure has a huge impact on patient experience. A city can boast one world-class hospital, but if their overall medical framework does not offer easy access and high-quality care to all its citizens, then there is still room for improvement. We decided to create a ranking of the best hospital cities, focusing on the overall hospital ecosystem in the area, rather than individual institutions. The results celebrate those cities offering the best overall medical care, as well as creating a benchmark for the rest of the world to understand how to better develop their medical education, accessibility and infrastructure for a healthier future.

To begin the study, we looked at the best hospitals and medical schools to create a shortlist of the world’s top hospital cities. Then, we split the factors which determine the best hospital cities into three categories: Infrastructure, Quality of Care, and Access. Within these categories, we’ve included research ranging from the quality of medical education and the number of hospital beds, to the cancer survival rate and the number of nurses. Additionally, elements such as the cost of medicine, and the prevalence of mental health specialists were included, and more. These data points were then utilised to score each city based on their overall hospital infrastructure, to determine the top 100 hospital cities in the world.

The table below reveals the final results where you are able to filter by each individual factor. Each factor has been given a score out of 100, the higher the figure, the better the city performs. The full methodology explaining how each factor was measured for each city is at the bottom of the page.

Hospital-Beds-capitaHospital Beds/capita
Mental-Health-Specialist-capitaMental Health Specialists/capita
Top-Ranking-Medical-UniveristiesTop Ranking Medical Universities
Top-Ranking-HospitalsTop Ranking Hospitals
Adverse-EventsAdverse Events
Treatment-Efficiency-SampleTreatment Efficiency Sample
Cost-of-MedicineCost of Medicine
Discretionary-Healthcare-SpendingDiscretionary Healthcare Spending
InfrastructureInfrastructure TotalQuality of CareQuality of Care TotalAccessAccess Total
NoCityCountryHospital-Beds-capitaNurses-capitaSurgeons-capitaMental-Health-Specialists-capitaTop-Ranking-Medical-UniveristiesTop-Ranking-HospitalsBest-Hospital-Cities-Ranking-2019Adverse-EventsTreatment-Efficiency-SampleAccessCost-of-MedicineDiscretionary-Healthcare-SpendingTOTAL SCORE
5SeoulSouth Korea83.9519.5931.0111.8273.4195.4187.5174.0696.7184.1490.5979.8582.8481.2789.7398.55
26Los AngelesUSA26.6429.479.4453.6383.7794.9788.6762.1780.2989.2287.5865.9838.5714.2456.0089.89
29New YorkUSA31.6133.659.0052.5882.2794.9988.6862.2969.7889.6385.5767.5937.799.7055.8789.33
30Frankfurt am MainGermany76.2128.5565.9723.1239.9184.1874.2160.7276.5786.0884.5090.9353.3684.3391.3589.31
40Newcastle Upon TyneUK21.7212.2932.063.4346.7480.9667.4079.5183.0375.4783.3987.4588.4781.9796.1286.12
44BusanSouth Korea98.4130.4647.8811.8217.2182.1764.0290.0196.7184.1494.0779.8582.8481.2789.7385.33
49San FranciscoUSA25.5029.927.2349.9765.4787.2877.7476.3780.2989.2290.6865.9838.5714.2456.0084.14
55Ann ArborUSA59.2067.7610.1340.8856.1982.8777.2287.5466.0584.1486.8563.9640.6815.5955.4282.65
56San JoseUSA19.6829.524.7137.5571.2983.6276.9853.5380.2989.2285.7065.9838.5714.2456.0082.35
57DaejeonSouth Korea86.4321.4633.9111.8213.8580.2058.9787.3796.7184.1493.5079.8582.8481.2789.7382.14
65IncheonSouth Korea78.0115.1324.0911.824.3683.1055.34100.0096.7184.1496.2579.8582.8481.2789.7380.69
94Oklahoma CityUSA39.3336.796.3238.0310.0669.5149.4762.6359.0485.7980.9154.2437.7915.6548.3962.56
96Tel AvivIsrael33.8915.7647.6535.0628.4140.5741.6571.1857.9542.7655.7377.7770.8476.0284.5960.25
97Ramat GanIsrael33.8915.7647.6535.067.8043.7236.2466.6657.9542.7654.7477.7770.8476.0284.5956.73
99PragueCzech Republic74.7137.8013.2917.5922.031.9917.6855.5276.7857.1765.4080.5583.0397.9893.9750.78


The Best Hospital Cities Ranking 2019 determines the top locations around the world for hospital infrastructure, in terms of quality, accessibility and ecosystem. The study analyses all hospitals within a city, so in order for a city to rank highly, the quality of all hospitals within their region must be high. The ranking is designed to celebrate the cities around the world successfully offering high-quality medical care to all of its citizens, and every city in this final ranking should be applauded for their efforts. The cities featured in the index were chosen based on the presence of top-ranking hospitals according to well-known hospital rankings.

The ranking was determined by analysing the following factors:
  • *Infrastructure: Hospital Beds, Nurses/Capita, Surgeons/Capita, Mental Health Specialists/Capita, Top-Ranking Medical Universities and Top-Ranking Hospitals.
  • *Quality of Care: Satisfaction, Adverse Events and Cancer Treatment Efficiency.
  • *Access: Access, Cost of Medicine, and Discretionary Healthcare Spending.

Each factor was then scored out of 100, and the final ranking is based on the highest scoring, the higher the ranking, the better the city’s overall hospital infrastructure.


Scores were normalized such that 100 is the highest value in the dataset. For columns where a low value is better, the score was inverted such that a high score is always better. Therefore, the higher the score, the better the city ranks for that factor in comparison to the other cities in the index.

The equation for normalization is as follows:
equation for normalizationfor inverted scores

Below you can find a detailed description of each factor within the study, and the source used.

Calculating per-capita scores

Due to the nature of health-related data in the UK and the United States, workforce, hospital bed and population numbers needed for per-capita factors were collected for broader geographical regions. For the UK, the relationship between cities and reporting units can be found below the factor descriptions under ‘UK City to Metropolitan Area Relationships’. For the United States, the relationship between cities and reporting units can be found below the factor descriptions under ‘United States City to Metropolitan Area Relationships’.

Calculating top-ranking hospital and university scores

A score was assigned to each university/hospital based on their position in well-known rankings and assigned to a metropolitan area using GIS mapping software. For metropolitan areas with multiple top-ranking universities/hospitals, the final score was calculated as follows: 50% of the score was based on the highest-scoring organization and 50% of the score was based on the sum of weighted scores of all organizations in the area, where the weight of each additional organization is half of the preceding one; that is 100%, 50%, 25%, 12.5% etc.


Hospital Beds/Capita
  • *The number of hospital beds per capita within the city. Where city data was unavailable, regional or country-level data was used instead.
  • *United Kingdom: Data on hospital beds in the United Kingdom were only available on for NHS Trusts, which can serve more than one city. A best effort was made to assign NHS Trusts to the city that they predominantly serve.
  • *United States: Data on hospital beds were assigned to Core-based Statistical Areas (CSBAs) to allow equal comparison with Nurses, Surgeons and Health Care professionals per capita.
  • *Sources: Eurostat, WHO, OECD NHS, Eurostat, and local statistical pages.
  • *The number of registered nurses per capita within the city. Where city data was unavailable, regional or country-level data was used instead.
  • *United Kingdom: Data on nurse workforce was available both for geographically defined Care Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and for NHS Trusts, which can serve more than one city. A best effort was made to assign NHS Trusts to the city that they predominantly serve.
  • *United States: Data on employed nurses were available for Core-based Statistical Areas (CSBAs).
  • *Sources: Eurostat, OECD, WHO, NHS, Eurostat, and local statistical pages.
  • *The number of surgeons under “general surgery” in the city (metropolitan area). Where city data was unavailable, regional or country-level data was used instead. For the UK, it is the number of surgeons within the NHS trust that serves the city.
  • *United Kingdom: Data on surgeon workforce only available on for NHS Trusts, which can serve more than one city. A best effort was made to assign NHS Trusts to the city that they predominantly serve.
  • *United States: Data on employed surgeons were available for Core-based Statistical Areas (CSBAs).
  • *Sources: Eurostat, OECD, WHO, NHS, Eurostat, and local statistical pages.
Mental Health Professionals/Capita
  • *The number of mental health specialists (psychologists, psychiatrists etc.) per capita on a country-level, except in the United Kingdom and United States.
  • *United Kingdom: Data on mental health workforce only available on for NHS Trusts, which can serve more than one city. A best effort was made to assign NHS Trusts to the city that they predominantly serve.
  • *United States: Data on employed mental health professionals were available for Core-based Statistical Areas (CSBAs).
  • *Sources: OECD, NHS, WHO, Eurostat, and local statistical pages.
Top-Ranking Medical Universities
  • *If the city is home to top-ranking medical universities and academic hospitals.
  • *United States: Universities scores were assigned to cities based on their Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs).
  • *Sources: Times Higher Education, QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019, Scimago Institutions Rankings (Research component) 2019
Top-Ranking Hospitals
  • *If the city is home to top-ranking hospitals.
  • *United States: Hospital scores were assigned to cities based on their Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs).
  • *Sources: Newsweek Best Hospitals in the World, US. News Hospitals in the US, Webometrics Ranking web of hospitals

Quality of Care

  • *How satisfied patients are with hospitals in their city. The satisfaction score was created by combining the latest data available from Numbeo and patient satisfaction survey results.
  • *Source: IPSOS national satisfaction survey, Numbeo, and local patient surveys.
Adverse Events
  • *The rate of adverse effects due to medical treatment, such as injury.
  • *The “Adverse effects from medical treatment” factor of the Health Access and Quality (HAQ) index. Adverse effects is scored such that a high score means that there are few injuries from medical treatment.
  • *Sources: Health Access and Quality index
Cancer Treatment Efficiency
  • *The Cancer Treatment Efficiency score gives an indication of overall medical performance by looking into data on the treatment efficiency of one of the most common illnesses affecting people the world over, cancer.
  • *The Cancer component of the Health Access and Quality (HAQ) index. The HAQ index provides a score based on the age-adjusted mortality-to-incidence rates of cancers considered amenable to clinical care.
  • *Sources: Health Access and Quality index


  • *The accessibility for all local citizens to hospitals within the city. The Access Score was created constructed primarily from the Health Access and Quality (HAQ) index and the Economist Intelligence Unit “Equity of access to healthcare” factor score. The score for individual states in the United States further took into account their ranking in the US News “Health Care Access Rankings”
  • *Sources: EIU, WHO
Cost of Medicine
  • *The cost of medicine was determined by sourcing the costs of a basket of three medications, listed on the WHO list of essential medicines: cortisone, aspirin, and activated charcoal.
  • *Sources: Online pharmacies (city-level where possible, otherwise country-level).
Discretionary Healthcare Spending
  • *Household out-of-pocket payments and voluntary health care payments per capita in local currency.
  • *Sources: WHO

United States City to Metropolitan Area Relationships

When calculating the scores for per capita factors, employment numbers were available by Core-based Statistical Area (CBSA). However, when determining the influence of hospitals and universities on a city, the Metropolitan Statistical Area is a more appropriate definition of the geographic boundaries of a city’s economy. The following table provides a mapping between the cities in our ranking and their MSA and CBSA metropolitan areas.

Scroll left to right
CityMetropolitan Statistical AreaCore-based Statistical Area
Boston, MABoston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NHBoston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH
San Francisco, CASan Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CASan Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
Ann Arbor, MIAnn Arbor, MIAnn Arbor, MI
Chicago, ILChicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WIChicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
San Jose, CASan Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CASan Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
Rochester, MNRochester, MNRochester, MN
Los Angeles, CALos Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CALos Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA
New York, NJNew York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PANew York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA
Baltimore, MDBaltimore-Columbia-Towson, MDBaltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD
Seattle, WASeattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WASeattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA
Houston, TXHouston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TXHouston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
Madison, WIMadison, WIMadison, WI
Denver, CODenver-Aurora-Lakewood, CODenver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
Minneapolis, MNMinneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WIMinneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI
Cleveland, OHCleveland-Elyria, OHCleveland-Elyria, OH
Dallas, TXDallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TXDallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX
Phoenix, AZPhoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZPhoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ
Cincinnati, OHCincinnati, OH-KY-INCincinnati, OH-KY-IN
Indianapolis, INIndianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, INIndianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN
Milwaukee, WIMilwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WIMilwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI
Omaha, NEOmaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IAOmaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA
Detroit, MIDetroit-Warren-Dearborn, MIDetroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI
Miami, FLMiami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FLMiami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL
Birmingham, ALBirmingham-Hoover, ALBirmingham-Hoover, AL
Salt Lake City, UTSalt Lake City, UTSalt Lake City, UT
Richmond, VARichmond, VARichmond, VA
Akron, OHAkron, OHAkron, OH
Honolulu, HIUrban Honolulu, HIUrban Honolulu, HI
Oklahoma City, OKOklahoma City, OKOklahoma City, OK
Raleigh, NCRaleigh, NCRaleigh, NC
New Orleans, LANew Orleans-Metairie, LANew Orleans-Metairie, LA

United Kingdom City to Metropolitan Area Relationships

The healthcare system in England presents some challenges to attributing per capita scores to cities. While geographically-defined Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are responsible for the medical care of the citizens within their boundaries, they rely on hospitals that are organized by NHS Trusts–and one NHS Trust may serve multiple CCGs, across multiple cities.To address this, a best effort was made to create groups of CCGs and NHS Trusts with minimum amount of overlap. Each city in our ranking was assigned to one of these groups, and the groups were further used to assign scores for top-ranking universities and hospitals. The following table provides a mapping between the cities in our ranking and the NHS Trusts and CCGs assigned to their hospital systems:

Scroll left to right
CityNHS TrustsCCG
LondonNHS England LondonNHS England London
ManchesterNHS England North (Greater Manchester)NHS England North (Greater Manchester)
BirminghamBirmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham Women's and Children's NHS Foundation Trust, Royal Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation TrustNHS Birmingham and Solihull CCG
BristolNorth Bristol NHS Trust, University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation TrustNHS Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire CCG
SheffieldSheffield Children's NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation TrustNHS Sheffield CCG
CambridgeCambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust, Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust, North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation TrustNHS Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG
Newcastle Upon TyneGateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation TrustNHS Newcastle Gateshead CCG
LeedsLeeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS TrustNHS Leeds CCG
NottinghamNottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation TrustNHS Mansfield and Ashfield CCG, NHS Newark and Sherwood CCG, NHS Nottingham City CCG, NHS Nottingham North and East CCG, NHS Nottingham West CCG, NHS Rushcliffe CCG
OxfordBerkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation TrustNHS Oxfordshire CCG, NHS Berkshire West CCG, NHS Buckinghamshire CCG
NorwichJames Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust, Queen Elizabeth Hospital King's Lynn NHS Foundation TrustNHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney CCG, NHS North Norfolk CCG, NHS West Norfolk CCG, NHS Norwich CCG, NHS South Norfolk CCG
BradfordAiredale NHS Foundation Trust, Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust, Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation TrustNHS Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven CCG, NHS Bradford City CCG, NHS Bradford Districts CCG
CoventryCoventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust, George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust, South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust, University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS TrustNHS Coventry and Rugby CCG, NHS South Warwickshire CCG, NHS Warwickshire North CCG
ExeterCornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Devon Partnership NHS Trust, Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust, Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust, Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, University Hospitals Plymouth NHS TrustNHS Kernow CCG, NHS Northern, Eastern and Western Devon CCG, NHS South Devon and Torbay CCG
LeicesterLeicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS TrustNHS East Leicestershire and Rutland CCG, NHS Leicester City CCG, NHS West Leicestershire CCG
BedfordBedford Hospital NHS Trust, Luton and Dunstable University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation TrustNHS Luton CCG, NHS Milton Keynes CCG, NHS Bedfordshire CCG
SouthamptonHampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Isle of Wight NHS Trust, Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, Solent NHS Trust, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation TrustNHS Fareham and Gosport CCG, NHS Isle of Wight CCG, NHS North East Hampshire and Farnham CCG, NHS North Hampshire CCG, NHS Portsmouth CCG, NHS South Eastern Hampshire CCG, NHS Southampton CCG, NHS West Hampshire CCG
BathRoyal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation TrustNHS Bath and North East Somerset CCG

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