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What are the Main Differences between OPD and IPD?

Terms like OPD and IPD are used quite frequently in the health insurance sector. Has it ever occurred to you what these terms mean? This article will explain to you the meaning of OPD and IPD, the difference between OPD and IPD, and the full form of OPD and IPD. Let us begin.

Full form and meaning of OPD and IPD

OPD stands for Out-Patient Department. IPD stands for In-Patient Department. The main difference between an OPD and IPD is the fact that a person does not need to get admitted to the hospital if he/she requires a consultation, diagnosis, minor treatments, ophthalmic procedures, minor surgeries, and minor investigations. The OPD department at a given hospital deals with such cases.

Whereas, if a person requires serious intervention, where hospital admission is required, the doctor will recommend hospitalization. The In-Patient Department in a hospital will deal with such cases where hospitalization is required.

Examples of OPD and IPD

Example of OPD

A very simple example of an OPD case is where a person simply wants to consult with a doctor in a given hospital. No hospitalization is required. The entire process is managed with the OPD department of a hospital.

Example of IPD

A simple example of an IPD case is where a person has suffered an accidental injury and the doctor recommends the person to get immediately admitted to the hospital and undergo surgery with post-surgery rehabilitation, having an approximate stay of 10 days in the hospital.

Such cases, where the person has to get admitted to the hospital and stay in the hospital for longer periods of time are handled by the In-Patient department of a hospital. Most hospitals have both and In-Patient Department and an Out-Patient Department.

OPD vs IPD (Differences between OPD and IPD)


OPD (Out-Patient Department)

IPD (In-Patient Department)

Duration of stay

No overnight stay

Overnight stay


Doctor consultations, dental services, minor surgeries, routine check-ups, etc.

Major surgery, major rehabilitation, longer term observation, etc.

Health insurance coverage

Generally covered (However a person should check whether his health insurance provider provides OPD coverage)



The costing is generally lower compared to IPD admissions

The costing is generally higher compared to OPD admissions

Author Bio

This article is written by Team, an independent website that writes about insurance, finance, health, and more. Our writers have a wealth of knowledge, experience, and degrees in the fields of insurance, finance, economics, and beyond.

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Frequently asked questions

  • Do hospitals have both OPD and IPD departments?

    Yes, most reputed hospitals will generally have both an Out-Patient Department and an In-Patient Department to cater to both type of requirements.

  • What is the duration of an OPD stay?

    OPD stays are generally under 24-hours. This is where the person does not require an overnight stay within the hospital.

  • What is the duration of an IPD stay?

    An IPD stay will be any stay which is more than 24 hours. This is where the patient gets admitted to the hospital for treatment.

  • What is the importance of IPD?

    An IPD department deals with more critical cases compared to an OPD department, thus can be considered more important compared to an OPD department.

  • Do health insurance companies provide coverage for OPD?

    Yes, health insurance companies will generally provide coverage for an OPD case. That being said, you must be careful and check the fine print of your health insurance policy to ensure it provides OPD coverage.

  • Does OPD treatment provide tax benefits?

    Yes, OPD treatments provide tax benefits under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act. 

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