Public vs. Private Hospitals: Which Type Offers Better Care?

Hospitals come in two types: private and public. Private hospitals are usually smaller than public hospitals, which are funded by federal, state and local agencies. Because of this funding, public hospitals can’t turn anyone away, unlike private hospitals. Here, readers can learn the pros and cons of public and private, physician-owned hospitals.

The Pros and Cons of Physician-Owned Hospitals

Many people like to visit private hospitals such as the type discussed in a Bloomberg article for procedures and emergency treatment. Some of the advantages include:

  • Their smaller size means they’re better equipped to offer personalized service.

  • Nurses only have to care for a few patients at a time.

  • Private hospitals are often more up-to-date on technology than public hospitals, and they often have amenities that give a luxurious feel.

  • Wait times are shorter, and doctor/patient ratios are typically excellent.

There are some drawbacks to consider as well. They include:

  • Limited acceptance of some forms of insurance

  • They can refuse to treat anyone who they don’t believe can pay the bill

  • They are often more expensive than public hospitals

  • They often have limited numbers of available beds

Benefits and Drawbacks of Public Hospitals

When most patients need medical treatment, they go to big, public hospitals. Some of the benefits are:

  • Public hospitals aren’t allowed to turn anyone away, and everyone is guaranteed to receive treatment.

  • They’re not for profit, and they’re usually more affordable than private hospitals.

  • Due to their larger size, beds are more available.

As for the downsides to public hospitals, there are a few to consider. Size is a concern for some patients; although public hospitals have more staff, doctor/patient ratios aren’t very good. ER wait times are oftne high, depending on the day of the visit and the nature of the emergency. There isn’t much personalized care, because nurses are typically overloaded due to the fact that a public hospital can’t turn anyone away.

Which Option is Appropriate?

In emergencies, there’s no time to choose between a private hospital and a public one. However, for non-urgent care, patients have time to consider the pros and cons of each choice. In the end, both hospital types can provide adequate care.