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Secondary Care

What is secondary care?

Secondary care is the second level of patient care following primary care. A patient who seeks and is unable to receive care from their primary care provider typically gets referred to a secondary care provider, usually a specialist.

Examples of secondary care providers include providers in specialized fields like cardiology, endocrinology, or oncology. If a patient cannot receive the necessary care from a secondary provider, they are often referred to a third specialist to receive tertiary care.

Some health insurance plans require patients to get referrals from their primary care providers for secondary care to be covered.

Why is secondary care important in healthcare?

Secondary care is a key aspect of healthcare that serves as an important step in the patient journey. Without secondary care, patients would not have efficient access to specialized treatment for their health problems and conditions. The concept of secondary care also allows healthcare providers to focus on specialized fields, which provides them with the in-depth knowledge required to treat unique health problems that may not be covered in general medical education and primary care.