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(in Russian, ambulatoriia), a treatment and prevention institution to render medical assistance to visiting patients and to patients at home.
The first outpatient clinics in Russia were created in the early 17th century. In the USSR an outpatient clinic provides medical aid on a territorial and district principle—by place of residence and place of occupation in registered enterprises—and also conducts work in disease prevention. An outpatient clinic differs from a polyclinic in that it provides medical aid only in basic specialties—that is, therapy, surgery, stomatology and sometimes pediatrics, obstetrics, and gynecology. Outpatient clinics may be associated with inpatient clinics (hospitals) or may be separate. There are three categories of independent outpatient clinics: those with five doctors are in the first category; those with three or four doctors, in the second; and those with one or two are in the third. G. L. GOMEL’SKAIA