Difference Between Clinic and Hospital

Main Difference – Clinic vs Hospital

Both clinic and hospital are healthcare institutions that offer health care facilities to patients. However, the facilities, treatments at these two institutions differ since due to the difference in their nature. A hospital is typically larger than a clinic and treats both inpatients and outpatients whereas a clinic is smaller and is focused on outpatients.  This is the main difference between clinic and hospital.Difference Between Clinic and Hospital- infographic

What is a Clinic

Clinic is a healthcare facility that is mainly focused on the care of outpatients. ( A patient who attends a hospital for treatment without staying there overnight) Clinics can be privately or publicly managed and funded. Clinics look after the main healthcare needs of populations in local communities.

Sometimes the term clinic can refer to a department in a hospital as well. Clinics are typically smaller than hospitals and run by one or several general practitioners. They are not also open on 24 x 7 x 365 basis, unlike hospitals.

Difference Between Clinic and Hospital

What is a Hospital

Hospitals are health care institutions that have an organized medical and other professional staff, and inpatient facilities, and deliver medical, nursing and related services.They offer diagnostic and curative services to acute and chronic conditions caused by diseases, injuries as well as genetic anomalies.

Hospitals can be funded by both public and private sector. Hospitals can be categorized into various types based on the services they offer. General hospitals are one of the commonest types of hospitals which are available in major cities. They treat diseases and injury, and normally have emergency departments to deal with urgent threats to health.

Specialized hospitals are hospitals that offer specialized treatments. These include children’s hospitals, trauma centers, rehabilitation hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, etc. Teaching hospitals are usually connected to a medical school or university. They offer medical education and training to medical students and student nurses.

Difference Between Clinic and Hospital

Difference Between Clinic and Hospital


Clinic is smaller than a hospital.

Hospital is larger than a clinic.


Clinic is usually run by one or few general practitioners.

Hospital has many doctors, nurses, and other medical assistants.


Clinic mainly treats outpatients.

Hospital treats both inpatients and outpatients.

Working Hours

Clinics are not open 24×7.

Hospitals are open 24×7.


Clinics do not have as many facilities like hospitals.

Hospitals have more facilities than clinics.


Clinics may offer treatment at a low cost.

Hospitals may offer expensive treatments.

Image Courtesy: 

“Open Clinic in Jaffa” By Beeri.omri – Template:Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia

“Inauguración del Hospital Regional de Apatzingán” By Presidencia de la República Mexicana(CC BY 2.0) via Commons Wikimedia

About the Author: Hasa

Hasanthi is a seasoned content writer and editor with over 8 years of experience. Armed with a BA degree in English and a knack for digital marketing, she explores her passions for literature, history, culture, and food through her engaging and informative writing.