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July 16, 1938

Current Comment

JAMA. 1938;111(3):257-259. doi:10.1001/jama.1938.02790290043016
Abstract

WHAT IS ADEQUATE HOSPITAL SERVICE?  In the United States, for a population of a hundred and twenty million people, there are 1,124,548 hospital beds, or a ratio of 9.3 hospital beds per thousand people. Excluding mental hospitals, the figure is 4.6. Such ratios, however, when taken alone do not suffice to answer the question as to whether or not we have adequate hospital service. Much depends on whether the population is rural or urban, on the type of housing which prevails, on the availability of servants, on the habits of the people and on the degree to which they have become accustomed to the idea of hospitalization for minor illnesses. In 1937 those states which had the highest percentage of occupancy were the states which had the highest bed ratio, while the states with the smallest number of hospital beds in relation to the population had the largest percentage of

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