A clinic is also known as an ambulatory care clinic or outpatient clinic. It is a healthcare facility which provides care services to outpatients. Clinics may be operated and funded by the government or managed by private organizations. Unlike larger hospitals that offer specialized treatments, the clinic takes care of the primary healthcare needs of the local community population.
One or several general practitioners may run a clinic whereas some clinics may be operated by hospitals or employers, or government organizations. For instance, a government-operated specialist clinic may offer subsidized healthcare while a general practice-based clinic may be run as a for-profit business by the single owner who is mostly a general practitioner. There are several types of the clinic, such as a general outpatient clinic, free clinic, policlinic, ambulatory surgery clinic, and more. With general medical practitioners (GPs) like doctors and nurses, an outpatient clinic can provide some acute care and ambulatory care services but not major pre- and post-surgical care facilities that are available in hospitals.