Public Hospitals & Its Service to General Public

What is a public hospital? Discuss the statement, “Not all public hospitals serve the general public.” According to our textbook, in the healthcare world the word “private” means that it is owned by the government (Shi, pg. 192). Since the word private means owned by the government, a private hospital is a hospital owned by the government. These type of governments can include federal, state, or local. In the United States, one-fourth of the hospitals are considered public (Shi, pg. 192). Just because a hospital is considered public, does not mean that it serves the public. Depending on what government the hospital is owned by, it can serve different groups of people. A example of this is federal hospitals. Federal hospitals do not serve the public, they see special groups such as Native Americans, military personnel and veterans (Shi, pg. 192). The State government sees patients that have mental issues or tuberculosis. Local governments operate hospitals that do serve the general public in counties and cities (Shi, pg 192). These type of hospitals are also considered community hospitals. Most hospitals that are considered public are small in size. The bigger public hospitals are affiliated with medical schools or they help with training of physicians. Medicare and Medicaid patients usually go to these hospitals (Fraze, 2008). Tax dollars are often used because many cases are charity cases and the tax money helps with the financial loss. Public hospitals are slowly declining in numbers (Fraze, 2008). Most of the public hospitals that are open are in small towns or rural areas so these areas can have a hospital. Fraze, Taressa. “Public Hospitals in the United States.” Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) Statistical Briefs [Internet]., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2008,,towns%2C%20and%20in%20rural%20areas. Shi, Leiyu, et al. Essentials of the U.S. Health Care System. 5th ed., Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2019.