A hospital is a health care facility which provides patient treatment with specialized staff and equipment. Ancient Egyptian temples are the earliest documented hospital-like institutions aiming to provide cures. Hospitals may be funded by governments, health organizations, health insurance companies or charities. They are staffed by physicians, surgeons, nurses and many other health care professionals.
Patients may go to a hospital for diagnosis, treatment or therapy without spending the night, or they may be admitted to stay at the hospital for several days, weeks or months. A general hospital deals with many different kinds of disease and injury and also may have an emergency department which deals with immediate and urgent health issues. Some hospitals may have their own ambulance.
Specialized hospitals can help reduce health costs compared to general hospitals, as costs can decrease due to specialists becoming efficient in working on a “production line” procedure. Examples of specialized hospitals include children’s hospitals, rehabilitation hospitals and psychiatric hospitals. A teaching hospital includes the teaching of medical students and nurses in addition to providing care to patients. Hospitals can have a variety of departments, such as: emergency, surgery, intensive care unit, oncology, pediatric and obstetrics. These departments are typically supervised by a chief physician.