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Specialized care provided over an extended period is called tertiary care. Usually, a primary or secondary care physician will refer a patient to tertiary care. A patient's maximum physical and mental function is restored in tertiary care, which is caused due to the impact of a chronic illness or condition. Tertiary care aims to achieve the highest level of functioning possible while managing chronic illness. For example, a patient who falls and fractures their hip will need secondary care to set the broken bones, but may need tertiary care to regain their strength and ability to walk even after the bones heal. In addition, patients with incurable diseases, such as dementia, may need specialized tertiary care to provide the support necessary for daily functioning.

The services offered in tertiary care include highly specialized care like intensive care and inpatient psychiatric facilities. They also provide specialty care such as neurology, cardiology, rheumatology, dermatology, and oncology. Other examples of tertiary care include burn treatment, plastic surgery, and advanced neonatal care.

Modern medical facilities with advanced diagnostic facilities and specialized intensive care units are characteristics of a tertiary care system. The healthcare professionals in tertiary care have access to advanced and specialized equipment and required expertise. Patients undergo advanced medical investigations or procedures like major transplants and replacement surgeries.

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