The aim of this article is to show the current situation of Spanish hospitals, as the result of research into both the public and private sector. The National Health System budget in 2002 was of over 28,000 million Euros. The bulk of the budget, over 90%, goes towards patient care and treatment, with specialised care, and specifically hospitals the main destination for funds. Hospitals constitute an important part of the tertiary sector with a series of specific characteristics, unknown to many, that make them different from the other companies in the services sector. The first, and fundamental difference of these enterprises is that their mission is illness prevention and the recovery of lost health.