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  • A hospital is a health care institution providing patient treatment with specialised staff and equipment. Hospitals are usually funded by the public sector, by health organisations, health insurance companies, or charities, including direct charitable donations. Historically, hospitals were often founded and funded by religious orders or charitable individuals and leaders. Today, hospitals are largely staffed by professional physicians, surgeons, and nurses, whereas in the past, this work was usually performed by the founding religious orders or by volunteers. However, there are various Catholic religious orders, such as the Alexians and the Bon Secours Sisters, which still focus on hospital ministry today, as well as several Christian denominations, including the Methodists and Lutherans, which run hospitals. In accord with the original meaning of the word, hospitals were originally "places of hospitality", and this meaning is still preserved in the names of some institutions such as the Royal Hospital Chelsea, established in 1681 as a retirement and nursing home for veteran soldiers.

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