Refers to medical and related services of high complexity and usually high cost.
Tertiary care is generally only available at national or international referral centers.
Patients are referred from secondary care for diagnosis and treatment that are not available in primary and secondary care.
World Health Organization. European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies. Glossary. 2009.
Specialized care that offers a service to those referred from secondary care for diagnosis or treatment, and which is not available in primary or secondary care.
Tertiary care has become a common feature in certain specialties for rare conditions, or where the diagnostic or treatment facilities are scarce or require scarce combinations of resources, or which remain essentially the subject of research. These facilities are commonly found in medical schools and teaching hospitals.