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April 29, 1939


Author Affiliations

General Director, the Commonwealth Fund NEW YORK

JAMA. 1939;112(17):1664-1667. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800170010004

In considering this subject—particularly at the present time when the question of great expansion of hospital facilities at governmental expense is under discussion—the matter of definitions appears of outstanding importance. Just what is meant by the term "hospital" and just what is a "community hospital"?

Is a hospital simply a building where the sick may be housed and presumably cared for by one or more members of the medical profession or is it, to be worthy of the name, far more than that?

In The Journal of the American Medical Association of June 11, 1938, it was stated that in the entire United States there are "but thirteen counties no part of which is within thirty miles of a registered general hospital."1 This statement presumably was intended as anticipatory evidence that the need for additional hospital facilities, as later set forth by the Technical Committee on Medical Care in