Glossary for: Levels of Health Care

Health care

Health care is the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease, illness, injury and other physical and mental impairments. Health care refers to the work done in providing primary care, secondary care and tertiary care, as well as in home and community care and public health.

Home and Community Care

A range of health care and support services for individuals who have acute, chronic, palliative or rehabilitative health care needs. Home and community care services are designed to complement and supplement – but not replace – the efforts of individuals to care for themselves with the assistance of family, friends and community. In-home services include […]

Primary Care

Health care provided by health care professionals who act as a first point of consultation for patients within the health care system. This is usually a general practitioner or family physician, or a non-physician primary care provider such as a nurse practitioner, but can also include speaking to a pharmacist or calling a health information […]

Secondary Care

Health care services provided by medical specialists and other health professionals who generally do not have first contact with patients, for example, cardiologists, urologists, and dermatologists. Secondary care includes acute care: the necessary treatment for a short period of time for a brief but serious illness, injury or other health condition, such as in a […]

Tertiary Care

Specialized consultative health care, usually for inpatients and requiring a referral from a primary or secondary health professional, in a facility that has personnel and facilities for advanced medical investigation and treatment. Examples of tertiary care services are cancer management, heart surgery, treatment for severe burns, palliative care, and other complex medical and surgical interventions.