Glossary:Hospital

Hospitals include licensed establishments primarily engaged in providing medical, diagnostic and treatment services that include physician, nursing, and other health services to in-patients and the specialised accommodation services needed by in-patients.

More details on hospitals

Hospitals may also provide outpatient services as a secondary activity. Many of their in-patient health services can only be provided using the specialised facilities and equipment that form a significant and integral part of the production process. In some countries, health facilities also need to be of a minimum size (such as number of beds) in order to be registered as a hospital.

General hospitals include licensed establishments primarily engaged in providing diagnostic and medical treatment (both surgical and non-surgical) to in-patients with a wide variety of medical conditions. These establishments may provide other services, such as outpatient services, anatomical pathology services, diagnostic X-ray services, clinical laboratory services, operating room services for a variety of procedures, and pharmacy services.

Illustrative examples of general hospitals are: general acute care hospitals, community, county and regional hospitals (other than speciality hospitals), hospitals of private non-profit-organisations (e.g. the Red Cross), teaching hospitals, university hospitals (other than speciality hospitals), army, veterans, and police hospitals (other than speciality hospitals) and prison hospitals. Also included are integrated community care centres providing both in-patient and outpatient services but which are primarily engaged in in-patient services.

Other types of hospitals (other than general hospitals) include mental health and substance abuse hospitals; specialised acute care hospitals; specialised emergency centres; orthopaedic hospitals or speciality sanatoriums primarily engaged in providing medical post-acute care, rehabilitative and preventive services; traditional medicine hospitals; and special hospitals for infectious disease (tuberculosis hospitals, hospitals for tropical diseases).

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