A hospital is an institution providing professional healthcare for the sick by formally trained doctors and nurses. It comes from the Latin word hospes, meaning host, which is also the root of the words hostel and hospitality. From very early times, care for the sick was associated with religion, and across civilizations, the earliest ‘hospitals’ have been centers of religion as well. Sometimes, as in the Middle Ages, the almshouse looked after not only the sick, but poor and the indigent, the widows and unmarried and other marginalized sections. Care for not only the sick but for everyone became more intense after the universal adoption of Christianity in Europe, and Islam in the Middle East and Persia. In fact Persia contributed the most in the institutionalized development of hospitals, although it was in India that the first specialized center for sick people (only) came up in the 1st Millennium BC.
Developments in modern science, microbiology, trauma care, etc, in Europe, resulted in a qualitative change in hospital care and management and ancillary health units. Specialized hospitals for the soldiers, women, children, elders, or for various illnesses came up during the 20th century only. Due to the association with helping sick people, the profession of medicine is supposed to be one of the most noble, although incessant commercialization of healthcare has given it a bad name in recent times.
Today, hospitals and other health centers are everyday necessity for us. Whether for a vaccination or for a blood test we have to visit a health center often. In times of a communicable disease scare, hospital visit becomes a social necessity. The wailing sound of the ambulance is an ever-present reality of the cityscape.
In this section of the directory we provide comprehensive links to health centers, hospitals, ambulance and emergency services, test centers and other specialized institutions to take care of all your healthcare needs.