What Are Clinics?


Clinics are medical services that focus on diagnosis, treatment, and recovery follow-ups for patients who do not require hospital admission or overnight stays. They may be freestanding or connected to a hospital, but can also be part of a medical teaching centre. The term clinic is often used for specific subdivisions of a large general hospital, such as the psychiatric or neurology clinic, or for particular kinds of medical treatment, such as surgery, ophthalmology, obstetrics, and oncology.

Clinics, offices, and medical centers are often confused by health professionals and patients alike. However, there are some important distinctions between these locations that deserve attention.

Offices are used by individual health professionals to perform consultations with patients, and usually only one health professional operates in an office. Clinics are larger than offices and typically offer a variety of health services under the same roof. Some clinics are specialized, such as a gynecology or dermatology clinic, while others have multiple GPs and other health professionals working together, such as in a polyclinic (the Russian word for “polypractice”).

Medical centers have the capacity to accommodate overnight stays, but primarily serve as outpatient clinics for acute care. Some clinics, such as ambulatory surgical centers, are able to accommodate same-day outpatient surgery for procedures that do not need to be performed in hospitals.

There are many types of clinics, ranging from free or charitable clinics to large outpatient facilities. Free and charitable clinics are frequently located in urban areas, or as part of a hospital or a medical school. Other clinics, such as those that treat the homeless, are often found in rural communities. Still other clinics, like the AIDS clinics, are focused on the treatment of a particular disease or condition.

An on-site clinic can help to reduce employee time away from work due to illness or injury, and increase worker productivity by reducing the number of visits required to the doctor’s office. On-site clinics can also reduce the cost of sick leave, which can be substantial for companies.

Clinics are an excellent way to provide employees with convenient access to high-quality, affordable healthcare, regardless of whether they have insurance. They can be a great addition to any company’s benefit portfolio. When implemented effectively, they can be a valuable health and wellness tool that supports the recruitment and retention of top talent. To ensure that an on-site clinic is a success, consider using a benefits consultant to create a strategy, screen providers and available offerings, and assist in negotiations and implementation. This can ensure that the clinic is designed to best meet your employees’ needs.

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