Secondary And Tertiary Levels Of Care

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Secondary and tertiary levels of care both provide more specialised, regionalised care for patients in the health system, the lines between which are often blurred, but still present key distinctions. Secondary care is specialised clinical care for problems more complex than those requiring primary care. Secondary care has a finer scope of specialisation than primary care, with this narrowing of specialisation continuing up the health care levels (Health Evidence Network, 2004). Secondary care therefore includes physicians who operate in the scope of a specialty, such as general surgeons, internists and neurologists (Bodenheimer & Grumbach, 2009). Secondary care is most commonly provided in the context of a hospital setting, or a community office of the specialist. Whilst tertiary care provides care for more complex illnesses as well, it instead focuses on subspecialties. Tertiary care providers work at the apex of their specialties, servicing a far greater proportion of the population compared to the other health care levels, as their services are so highly focused (Bodenheimer & Grumbach, 2009). As tertiary care is the uppermost level of care in a typical system, it is generally provided at a select number of hospitals or specialist tertiary centers. Examples of tertiary care providers include cardiac surgeons; specialist burns units, and immunologists, who may concentrate on rare illnesses (Bodenheimer & Grumbach, 2009). Questions three and four: Describe how patients
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