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September 1994

City/County HospitalsAn Endangered Species?

Arch Surg. 1994;129(9):903-907. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1994.01420330017003

MANY BELIEVE that our great city/county (C/C) hospitals, which are well represented on the Pacific Coast, are endangered by pending health care legislation. Public hospitals have a long and distinguished history. They have played a major part in medical education for 200 years and currently represent an impressive proportion of teaching hospitals.1 For most of our country's history, they have been the main institutions for the care of trauma, and they have been responsible for the vast majority of advances in trauma care.2 Most of us have had at least part of our training within their walls. In 1986, the federal government recognized their contributions by printing a commemorative stamp in their honor.

Their purpose, until 1966, was to care for the poor, the indigent, the elderly, and the injured. At the same time, they were the major institutions for the teaching of medical students and the

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