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The Capital Region (Denmark)
Location Copenhagen, Capital Region, Denmark
Funding Government hospital
Affiliated university University of Copenhagen
Helipad Yes

Rigshospitalet (meaning The National, State or Kingdom Hospital, but not usually translated) is one of the largest hospitals in Copenhagen University Hospital.[1]


  • Name 1
  • History 2
  • Hospital services 3
  • Social and cultural significance 4
  • Blood contamination 5
  • Psychiatry 6
  • Additional images 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9
  • See also 10


The Danish name is not usually translated to English.[2] The prefix Rigs- is used in the names of some Danish state institutions, especially in a solemn or prestigeous context or for authorities serving for the whole Danish Realm including Greenland and the Faroe Islands. It is the genitive of rige ('realm, kingdom, empire') and the cognate word is used similarly in Norwegian, Swedish, Icelandic and Dutch (and in German until 1945). The prefix Stats- ('of the state') is more widely used, but implies a slightly lower level in the hierachy. Although Rigshospitalet was founded as a state hospital, as opposed to the normal hospitals operated by counties, the Danish term Statshospital was until 1977 used only for psychiatric institutions.

The hospital itself explains the name was given because its predecessor, Royal Frederick's Hospital, was handed over to the state and became open to patients from the whole Danish Realm.[3]

Rigshospitalet is often abbreviated RH and colloquially also called Riget (literally meaning 'the realm' or 'the kingdom'), hence the name of Lars von Trier's thriller tv series The Kingdom which is set at the hospital, and Stephen King's American version The Kingdom.


Rigshospitalet was founded on 30 March 1757 as Kongelig Frederiks Hospital, named after King Frederick V and situated in Bredgade in central Copenhagen. The buildings are now occupied by the Danish Museum of Art & Design. Since 1903 the state has been the owner of the hospital (whereas other hospitals in Denmark are owned by the regions, formerly by the counties). In 1910 it was renamed and moved to the present location in ten low buildings around a central garden by architect Martin Borch. In 1970 most of them were replaced by the present highrise concrete building by architecht Jørgen Stærmose, while some of the surrounding older buildings still have hospital functions. In 1995 the hospital was handed over to Hovedstadens Sygehusfællesskab (HS, The Capital Hospital Trust) which in 2007 was absorbed by the Capital Region. In 2007 a helipad was built on top of the hospital. Until then, rescue helicopters and helicopters transferring patients would land in the neighbouring park Fælledparken.

Hospital services

Rigshospitalet's mission is to be Denmark's leading hospital for patients needing highly specialized treatment.[4] Its main specialist role has been enhanced in recent years by the decision that it should serve as the host institution for many of Copenhagen's speciality departments. Because of this, other hospitals refer patients to Rigshospitalet for the unique expertise available there.

Rigshospitalet’s neighbor, Panum Institute, houses the Health Sciences Faculty of Copenhagen University. This proximity optimizes a close cooperation between the two in the fields of research and development. The Nordic Cochrane Centre and the University Centre for Nursing and Care Research are in Rigshospitalet.

With 1,120 beds, Rigshospitalet has responsibility for 65,000 inpatients and approximately 420,000 outpatients annually. In addition to its 8,000 personnel (7,000 full-time equivalents), the hospital trains, hosts, and has the in-service advantages of students of medicine and other health care sciences, as well as scientists working within Rigshospitalet under a variety of research grants.

Rigshospitalet has a trauma centre specialised at receiving severely injured patients. Ordinary emergency department treatment has been relegated to the other hospitals in Copenhagen.

Social and cultural significance

The hospital was the location of Lars von Trier's television horror mini-series The Kingdom.

It is the hospital in which Crown Princess Mary gave birth to her four children by Crown Prince Frederik: Christian, Isabella, Vincent, and Josephine. Also Prince Joachim's children were born here: Nikolai, Felix, Henrik and Athena.

In 2007 Rigshospitalet celebrated its 250th anniversary.

Blood contamination

Two patients were infected with HIV at Rigshospitalet in February 2007 after getting a blood transfusion with infected blood. The hospital has displayed no intention of going public with the details of either the infected patients or the blood donor. The contagion could, according to experts, probably have been discovered if the blood had been tested with a NAT test, which is used by many other western countries.[5][6]


Though the hospital complex is also hosting the Psychiatric Center Rigshospitalet, this center administratively sorts under the region-wide psychiatric hospital, Region Hovedstadens Psykiatri.

Additional images


  1. ^ [ Københavns Universitetshospital], University of Copenhagen
  2. ^ Rigshospitalet - in brief, Rigshospitalet
  3. ^ The History of Rigshospitalet, Rigshospitalet
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ "To smittet med hiv på Rigshospitalet -".  070818
  6. ^ "Læger vil gøre donorblod mere sikkert - Indland - Nyheder - Berlingske Tidende".  070818

External links

  • Official website
  • Website of Copenhagens University Hospital, (in Danish only)
  • Faculty of Health Sciences website

See also

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