Difference between Hospital and Clinic

Key Difference: A hospital can be a private or public sector building where patients are admitted for treatment. On the other hand, a clinic is a health care hub or it is a place where a doctor analyzes the patients, prescribes medicines and gives the instructions as to how to use the medication.

Hospital and clinic are the two words that are undeniably different from each other.

Hospitals can be in the private or public sector. It is a health care organization, which provides patients with treatment by expert staff and equipment. Hospital was derived from the Latin word ‘hospes’ or ‘hospitalis’, meaning ‘hospitable’. It is largely managed by professional physicians, surgeons and nurses. It is a 24 hour health center where patients get admitted for treatment of various diseases. Two types of patients can be treated in the hospital: Outpatients and inpatients. Outpatients are the one who leave without staying all night; while inpatients are admitted and stay overnight or for several days, weeks or months.

There are several doctors to attend to patients in a hospital. The well-known type of hospital is the general hospital, which is set up to deal with many kinds of problems. There are several departments in the hospital that are managed by particular staff members. The departments are mainly known as ‘wards’.

On the other hand, a clinic is a place where outpatients are provided medical treatment, checkup or advice for their health. Clinic was derived from the Greek word ‘Klinein’, meaning to ‘slope, lean or recline’. An outpatient means they go to a clinic for diagnosis, treatment, or therapy and then leave without staying all night. It is a kind of hospital department; where a doctor visits to talk to people about their particular health matter. The patient discusses their problem with the doctor and the doctor may pescribe them medicines. A clinic is usually run for about 4 to 5 hours a day.

Clinic can also be privately functioned or publicly handled and financed, and it can characteristically cover the primarily health care needs of populations in local communities. Clinics are frequently linked with a general medical practice, run by one or several general practitioners. Some clinics are also operated in-house by employers or government organizations.

Comparison between Hospital and Clinic:






A hospital is an institution in which sick or injured persons are given medical or surgical treatment.

A clinic is a place, as in connection with a medical school or a hospital, for the treatment of non-resident patients, sometimes at low cost or without charge.


Latin word ‘hospes’ or ‘hospitalis’, meaning ‘hospitable’.

Greek word ‘Klinein’, meaning to ‘slope, lean or recline’.


  • General hospitals – set to deal with many kinds of diseases and injury
  • District hospitals – for intensive care and long-term care
  • Specialized hospitals – it includes trauma centers, rehabilitation hospitals, seniors’ hospitals, etc.
  • Teaching hospitals – medical students and nurses assist patients
  • Retail Based Clinic
  • Free clinic
  • General out-patient clinic

-Sexual health clinic

-Fertility clinic

-Abortion clinic

-Ambulatory surgery clinic

  • Specialist clinic


  • Inpatient department
  • Accident department
  • Cancer department
  • Maternity department
  • Outpatient department
  • Cardiology department
  • Etc.

There are no departments in clinic.


24 hours

Usually, 4 to 5 hours


Separate rooms meant for patients that are admitted in the hospital.

A clinic does not have various rooms meant for patients.


Hospital has many beds for patients.

Clinic does not have beds for patients.

Mortuary (Funeral Home)

Hospitals usually have a funeral home.

Clinics do not have funeral homes.


Deaths take place in the hospitals.

Deaths usually do not take place in the clinics.

Emergency kits

All hospitals have emergency kits.

Clinics usually do not have emergency kits.

Image Courtesy: ageventuresindia.org, blog.cleveland.com

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Very important information. In this part of the world people hardly understand the difference since some of the so called hospitals are actually clinics.

Multinational Health Care companies use “clinically proved” not “medically proved”, otherwise it will be a crime. They cheat with people

I have got very important information because iam working as AR caller in medical billing.Thank you very much

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