Much as many hospitals in the Europe are named after various Kings and Queens throughout history, RIPAS Hospital was named after Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha binti Al-Marhum Pengiran Pemancha Pengiran Anak Haji Mohamed Alam, Queen Consort of Brunei Darussalam.
Her Majesty officially opened the hospital on 28th August 1984 (01 Zulhijjah 1404), in the same year that the country gained its independence from Great Britain. On opening, the hospital assumed the role of the Rumah Sakit Besar, Bandar Seri Begawan, which had become cramped and was no longer able to accommodate the nation's growing medical and health needs.
In fact, a few areas had been identified as the most appropriate site for the construction of a "new" hospital since the late 1950's. The current site site in Kampung Kiulap was chosen because it had accessible through good land, river and the air routes and would be able to be developed and expanded on in the future.