Hospital and Clinic


Many medical clinics focus mainly on providing primary care services. However, some types of clinics do focus on specific areas of medicine.Additionally, medical clinics can be associated with a hospital or university. Some may offer low cost or no-cost care. Others can be found within retail stores. A medical clinic is a type of facility that’s focused on outpatient services. Being an outpatient means that you can go home after you receive care.Medical clinics can be operated publicly, privately, or by the government. You often need to make an appointment to go to a medical clinic, although some clinics may also accept walk-ins. Generally speaking, you can go to a medical clinic for the following types of health-related services. Routine medical care, Preventive care, Medical attention when you’re sick while many clinics offer more general healthcare services, some clinics are more specialized. These types of clinics may be focused on areas like mental health, sexual health, or addiction services.The types of medical professionals who work at a clinic depends on the specific facility. Some examples of medical


Hospital, an institution that is built, staffed, and equipped for the diagnosis of disease; for the treatment, both medical and surgical, of the sick and the injured; and for their housing during this process. The modern hospital also often serves as a centre for investigation and for teaching.Your Doctor /Primary Care Provider will refer you to the Specialist or Hospital. If it is an Emergency, go directly to the hospital.To better serve the wide-ranging needs of the community, the modern hospital has often developed outpatient facilities, as well as emergency, psychiatric, and rehabilitation services. In addition, “bedless hospitals” provide strictly ambulatory (outpatient) care and day surgery. Patients arrive at the facility for short appointments. They may also stay for treatment in surgical or medical units for part of a day or for a full day, after which they are discharged for follow-up by a primary care health provider.

You may need to go to a Hospital for some of the following health issues:

  • Emergencies
  • An appointment with a Specialist
  • Specific medical treatment (Surgery/Operation)


There are no definite guidelines in India regarding how long to retain medical records. The hospitals follow their own pattern retaining the records for varied periods of time. Under the provisions of the Limitation Act 1963 and Section 24A of the Consumer Protection Act 1986, which dictates the time within which a complaint has to be filed, it is advisable to maintain records for 2 years for outpatient records and 3 years for inpatient and surgical cases. However the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act allows for condoning the delay in appropriate cases. This means that the records may be needed even after 3 years. It is important to note that in paediatric cases a medical negligence case can be filed by the child after acquiring the age of majority. The Medical Council of India guidelines also insist on preserving the inpatient records in a standard preform for 3 years from the commencement of treatment. The records that are the subject of medico-legal cases should be maintained until the final disposal of the case even though only a complaint or notice is received. It is necessary that the Government frames guidelines for the duration for which medical records are preserved by the hospitals so that hospitals are protected from unnecessary litigation in issues of medical records.

The provisions of specific Acts like the Pre Conception Prenatal Diagnostic Test Act, 1994 (PNDT), Environmental Protection Act, etc. necessitate proper maintenance of records that have to be retained for periods as specified in the Act. Section 29 of the PNDT Act, 1994 requires that all the documents be maintained for a period of 2 years or until the disposal of the proceedings. The PNDT Rules, 1996 requires that when the records are maintained on a computer, a printed copy of the record should be preserved after authentication by the person responsible for such record.

National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers (NABH) GUIDELINES FOR HOSPITALS is a constituent board of Quality Council of India (QCI), set up to establish and operate accreditation programme for healthcare organizations. The board while being supported by all stakeholders including industry, consumers, government, have full functional autonomy in its operation. For details, please read “About NABH”. Retention period of records: The entire Outpatient case sheets shall be maintained for a period of 5 years after the last visit made by the patient. All the Inpatient case sheets shall be maintained for a period of 7 years after the last visit made by the patient. The MLC case sheets shall be retained lifelong or till the final judgment from the Supreme Court. The records which have crossed the retention period shall be selected and destroyed as per documented procedure.

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