Thursday, August 21, 2008
Audio posted in the afternoon.
Tom Fudge: Emergency rooms are the most democratic and probably the most vital part of our health care system. They are society's only guaranteed source of health care, open to both insured and uninsured people, people who cay pay and those who cannot. They are open 24 hours a day.
If you follow the news, or if you've had to use an ER recently, you know they're crowded and, at times, overwhelmed. Emergency rooms are expensive to maintain. In recent years, their numbers in California have gotten smaller while the numbers of visits to them have increased.
The Public Policy Institute of California, up in San Francisco, has come out with a study of who visits our emergency rooms, and why. The results of this study may surprise you.
- Shannon McConville, is a PPIC research associate.