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A hospital is a health care institution providing patient treatment with specialized medical and nursing staff and medical equipment. The best-known type of hospital is the general hospital, which typically has an emergency department to treat urgent health problems ranging from fire and accident victims to a heart attack. A district hospital typically is the major health care facility in its region, with large numbers of beds for intensive care and additional beds for patients who need long-term care. Specialised hospitals include trauma centres, rehabilitation hospitals, children's hospitals, seniors' (geriatric) hospitals, and hospitals for dealing with specific medical needs such as psychiatric treatment (see psychiatric hospital) and certain disease categories. Specialised hospitals can help reduce health care costs compared to general hospitals.
A teaching hospital combines assistance to people with teaching to medical students and nurses. The medical facility smaller than a hospital is generally called a clinic. Hospitals have a range of departments (e.g.: surgery and urgent care) and specialist units such as cardiology. Some hospitals have outpatient departments and some have chronic treatment units. Common support units include a pharmacy, pathology, and radiology.
Hospitals are usually funded by the public sector, by health organisations (for profit or nonprofit), by health insurance companies, or by charities, including direct charitable donations. Historically, hospitals were often founded and funded by religious orders, or by charitable individuals and leaders.
- "... built catastrophes, anonymous institutional complexes run by vast bureaucracies, and totally unfit for the purpose they have been designed for ... They are hardly ever functional, and instead of making patients feel at home, they produce stress and anxiety."
- Brockliss, Lawrence, and Colin Jones. "The Hospital in the Enlightenment," in The Medical World of Early Modern France (Oxford UP, 1997), pp. 671–729; covers France 1650–1800
- Chaney, Edward (2000),"'Philanthropy in Italy': English Observations on Italian Hospitals 1545–1789", in: The Evolution of the Grand Tour: Anglo-Italian Cultural Relations since the Renaissance, 2nd ed. London, Routledge, 2000. https://books.google.com/books/about/The_evolution_of_the_grand_tour.html?id=rYB_HYPsa8gC
- Connor, J. T. H. "Hospital History in Canada and the United States," Canadian Bulletin of Medical History, 1990, Vol. 7 Issue 1, pp 93–104
- Crawford, D.S. Bibliography of Histories of Canadian hospitals and schools of nursing.
- Gorsky, Martin. "The British National Health Service 1948–2008: A Review of the Historiography," Social History of Medicine, December 2008, Vol. 21 Issue 3, pp 437–460
- Harrison, Mar, et al. eds. From Western Medicine to Global Medicine: The Hospital Beyond the West (2008)
- Horden, Peregrine. Hospitals and Healing From Antiquity to the Later Middle Ages (2008)
- McGrew, Roderick E. Encyclopedia of Medical History (1985)
Morelon, Régis; Rashed, Roshdi (1996), Encyclopedia of the History of Arabic Science, 3, Routledge, ISBN
- Porter, Roy. The Hospital in History, with Lindsay Patricia Granshaw (1989)
Risse, Guenter B. Mending Bodies, Saving Souls: A History of Hospitals (1999); world coverage
- Rosenberg, Charles E. The Care of Strangers: The Rise of America's Hospital System (1995); history to 1920
- Scheutz, Martin et al. eds. Hospitals and Institutional Care in Medieval and Early Modern Europe (2009)
- Wall, Barbra Mann. American Catholic Hospitals: A Century of Changing Markets and Missions (Rutgers University Press, 2011).
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