What Is The Difference Between An Independent Clinic & A Hospital?

Confused about whether you should visit a hospital or an independent clinic?

Can’t decide which facility will suit your needs better?

Both independent clinics and hospitals are healthcare institutions offering facilities to patients. However, a few differences amongst them will help patients decide which medical facility is better suited for their condition –a study reported in 2017 stated that 3.3% visits to the ER were unnecessary!

What Is an Independent Clinic?

An independent clinic is a small health care facility that can be either publically or privately funded. Usually, they’re very adept at catering to the healthcare needs of specific localities and are experts at providing healthcare for those conditions.

What is a Hospital?

A hospital is a large health care institution that has organized medical staff, various facilities and is funded by private and public enterprises. Hospitals cater to a host of conditions and treatments, making them the largest providers of health care services.

The Differences between an Independent Clinic and a Hospital


  • The Staff


Hospital: A hospital has a much larger staff of doctors, nurses and other medical assistants. It also has an exclusive administrative department, finance department and need-based finance options for patients.

Clinic: A clinic is usually run by one or more practitioners with a limited number of medical staff who serves as nurses and assistants.


  • Working Hours and Size


Hospital: Hospitals are usually open for 24 hours due to the large influx of patients that the facility caters to – walk-ins, appointments, emergencies, etc.

Clinics: Clinics are small and only operate for a few hours a day for patients who come in via appointment.


  • Facilities


Hospital: A hospital is equipped with innumerable facilities. Besides having the best technology and a plethora of medical equipment and expertise, hospitals also include:

  • Surgery rooms
  • Patient rooms
  • Laboratories
  • X-Ray/Scan facilities
  • Emergency Room
  • Pharmacies

Clinic: Clinics contain a limited number of facilities. For example, immunization equipment, and specialized tools for short procedures (like dermatological ones), and don’t have overnight patient facilities.


  • When to Visit A:


Hospital: When patients encounter serious trauma, life threatening injuries/wounds, chest pains, or any other serious condition that needs immediate attention, a hospital trip is advised.

Clinic: Patients can & should visit clinics for non-fatal and lesser serious issues, like a mild cold or check ups for specific conditions.


  • Cost


Hospital: Visiting a hospital can become quite costly. They have stringent paying options, for example, your health insurance must come through before you can be treated.

Clinic: Clinics cost lesser than hospitals and are less strict about payment. Some clinics also take cash payments at discounted rates.


  • Treatments Available


Hospital: Because a hospital is a large institution and has more funding, they’re able to offer innumerable treatments, ranging from oncology to gynecology.

Clinics: Due to their small size, clinics specialize in a few fields. For example, one clinic may specialize in dermatology and not in pediatrics.