Table 66.1Definitions and Terms for Different Levels of Hospital

Disease Control Priorities Project: terminology and definitionsAlternative terms commonly found in the literature
Primary-level hospital: few specialties—mainly internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, and general surgery, or just general practice; limited laboratory services available for general but not specialized pathological analysisDistrict hospital
Rural hospital
Community hospital
General hospital
Secondary-level hospital: highly differentiated by function with 5 to 10 clinical specialties; size ranges from 200 to 800 beds; often referred to as a provincial hospitalRegional hospital
Provincial hospital (or equivalent administrative area such as county)
General hospital
Tertiary-level hospital: highly specialized staff and technical equipment—for example, cardiology, intensive care unit, and specialized imaging units; clinical services highly differentiated by function; could have teaching activities; size ranges from 300 to 1,500 bedsNational hospital
Central hospital
Academic or teaching or university hospital

Source: Definitions from Mulligan and others 2003, 59.

From: Chapter 66, Referral Hospitals

Cover of Disease Control Priorities in Developing Countries
Disease Control Priorities in Developing Countries. 2nd edition.
Jamison DT, Breman JG, Measham AR, et al., editors.
Copyright © 2006, The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/The World Bank Group.

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