A regional hospital or district hospital is a hospital that serves a geographic region larger area than a single local or rural area. Some countries also define specific services that required in regional hospitals. The word regional or district may also be part of the name of the hospital. Regional hospitals sometimes serve specific needs that cannot be adequately met by a local or rural hospital, such as treating rare cancers, providing 24 hour emergency services, treating rare diseases such as ebola or rare conditions such as obstetric fistula, or providing elective orthopedic surgery.
In the National Health Service of the United Kingdom, a regional hospital is one that provides more complex services than a district hospital, such as transplantations or rare cancers.
The World Health Organization defines a regional hospital or provincial hospital as a secondary level hospital providing 5 to 10 clinical specialties and with 200 to 800 hospital beds. It is different than a smaller primary-level hospital and larger tertiary-level hospital.
In South Africa, a regional hospital must provide the following services on a 24-hour basis:
In addition, a regional hospital receives outreach and support from tertiary hospitals has between 200 and 800 beds.
In Thailand, the classification of regional hospitals is different in that a regional hospital has higher treatment capabilities compared to a general hospital. Most regional hospitals are located in major provincial cities, while general hospitals serve smaller provincial cities and towns.
What if rural facilities were used for the kind of routine care and simple procedures that generalist physicians and nurses can safely provide while designating regional hospitals for more complex, specialty care?