Edinburgh has a rich tradition as a leading medical center in Europe since the 18th and 19th centuries. Even to this day, it boasts of distinguished practitioners and surgeons. The Edinburgh royal infirmary was established in 1729 by the Town Council of the city. It was the first civic university in Britain. This royal infirmary began on charitable grounds to provide medial relief for the sick poor. The Edinburgh royal infirmary had strong support from the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Surgeons. 1726 saw the establishment of the University of Edinburgh, as teaching was an integral aspect of this institution. The School of Nursing was established in 1872 in accordance with the principles laid down by Florence Nightingale. In 1948, the Edinburgh Royal infirmary became part of the NHS and was known as Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh NHS Trust.
The new facilities of the Royal infirmary in Edinburgh were opened on 27th January 2002. Located on the southern end of Edinburgh, these premises also house the new University of Edinburgh Medical School. The new location for the Royal infirmary in Edinburgh is on a Greenfield site. The Royal infirmary in Edinburgh commenced full operation in May 2003. With staff strength of 5,000, the Edinburgh Royal infirmary is one of the finest modern hospital facilities in Europe with stat-of-the-art technology and up-to-date healthcare.