Every Byzantine town had its own hospital where the sick and invalid citizens could find cure and comfort. Men, women and children could be hospitalized there free of charge or for a small fee, depending on the gravity of malady, duration of stay, treatment required and the regulations of the institution. The best Byzantine hospitals were located in the important economic, political and ecclesiastical centers of the Empire. However, small units of medical care also existed in the monasteries scattered in remote areas of the state. In these rudimentary, compared to the modern, hospitals official medicine was practiced and a variety of diseases was treated. The inmates of the Byzantine hospitals soon after being cured could return to their families and resume their activities.