Dispensaries are government hospitals closest to the citizens. They offer simple outpatient services. Conditions which require more intensive observation, patients are often referred to more advanced hospitals in terms of services and specialists.
The health centers are hospitals that not only offer simple services like common cold but also offer the prevention services. These hospitals also operate as a referral hospitals from the dispensaries.
Nursing hospitals are hospital run by churches, organizations or individuals. They offer medical services that require more care and also the operational services.
Private hospitals are hospitals that are more organized with more specialized personnel and advanced equipment. They offer all services including the consultation, diagnostics and many more, most patients who visit these are covered with a medical insurance in Kenya.
We have another category of hospitals that is the sub county hospitals and county hospitals which act as the main referral centers for the small hospitals. The services here are more specialized and patients can get more comprehensive treatment while the county hospitals have extra services and resources i.e capacity to care intensive care services, they have life support machines and can carry more complex tests.
National hospitals provide all the health services which may not be available in these other hospitals.