Classification of Chinese Hospitals

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Hospitals in China are organized according to a 3-tier system that recognizes a hospital's ability to provide medical care, medical education, and conduct medical research. Based on this, hospitals are designated as Primary, Secondary or Tertiary institutions.[1]

A primary hospital is typically a township hospital that contains less than 100 beds. They are tasked with providing preventive care, minimal health care and rehabilitation services. Secondary hospitals tend to be affiliated with a medium size city, county or district and contain more than 100 beds, but less than 500. They are responsible for providing comprehensive health services, as well as medical education and conducting research on a regional basis. Tertiary hospitals round up the list as comprehensive or general hospitals at the city, provincial or national level with a bed capacity exceeding 500. They are responsible for providing specialist health services, perform a bigger role with regard to medical education and scientific research and they serve as medical hubs providing care to multiple regions.[2]

Further, based on the level of service provision, size, medical technology, medical equipment, and management and medical quality, these 3 grades are further subdivided into 3 subsidiary levels: A, B and C (甲[jiǎ], 乙[yǐ], 丙[bǐng]). This results in a total of 9 levels. In addition, one special level - 3AAA (三级特等)- is reserved for the most specialized hospitals.[3]

This system is hence referred to in Chinese as 三级十等 (sānjí shíděng), 3 Grades and 10 levels.

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