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I'm an English teacher in Japan. In the textbook I'm using now, there's a sentence that goes:

Medical services have greatly improved recently, but medical care is still not good enough to save the lives of children and mothers in many parts of the world.

Does this make sense? Aren't "medical services" and "medical care" synonymous? If so, the sentence can be simplified by using one and the same subject:

Medical services have greatly improved recently, but still THEY aren't good enough to save the lives ...

Changing the first subject to "medical science" might also make sense, which could change the meaning, though.

Medical science has greatly improved recently, but medical care is still not good enough to save ...

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  • It does not mean medical science. It's about how patients are treated and cared for and not the state of medicine.
    – Lambie
    May 14, 2021 at 20:50

3 Answers 3

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Services can exist even when care is not delivered.

For example, an "Emergency Room" can exist even if there is no patient that had an emergency.

Medical Services are the facilities and people that can provide care. Medical care is the work they do when they have a patient.

Medical Science is something completely different. It is how one would test that one kind of care is better or worse than another kind of care.

Medical services have greatly improved recently, but medical care is still not good enough to save the lives of children and mothers in many parts of the world.

This sentence means that while there is more access to medical providers, the end result (the care) is not saving the lives of children or mothers in many parts of the world. It is as if the additional doctor's offices, ambulances, hospitals, and clinics are not effective.

There may be some other (not mentioned) reason why they are not effective.

For example, if the Doctors were mostly trained in Surgery, then maybe their training doesn't help with pregnancies. Or, if the method of payment blocked the people with high chances of child deaths from getting medical help, then the number of additional services wouldn't matter; because, the people needing the care wouldn't be able to use the services.

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I would understand these as generally synonymous, with the implication that medical care/services have improved but not by enough.

Or it could be interpreted as medical care/services have greatly improved in many places, but not everywhere.

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Medical services are dispensed in a variety of places or through various types of infrastructure:

  • clinics
  • hospitals
  • doctors' offices (or surgeries, as they say in Britain).
  • pharmacies (in hospitals)

In places like that they provide care for patients. The actual hands-on treatment (by a doctor) and nursing a patient might require.

Care is often associated with specific medical specialties:

  • pre-natal care
  • post-operative care
  • palliative care
  • general care
  • emergency care, etc.

So, they are not exactly synonymous. Care is more about what the actual medical provider does: doctors, nurses do and the other is more of a "business-y" term that describes the place or area where medical treatment and care are dispensed.

Medical science is a completely different thing. That means the science of medicine, which is advancing all the time and can often be incorporated as specific knowledge into the practice of medicine.

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