A public hospital or government hospital is a hospital which is owned by a government and receives government funding. This type of hospital provides medical care free of charge, the cost of which is covered by the funding the hospital receives.
In the United States, two thirds of all urban hospitals are non-profit hospitals. The remaining third is split between for-profit and public. The largest public hospital system in America is the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, which is associated with the New York University School of Medicine.
In the U.S., public hospitals receive significant funding from local, state, and/or federal governments. In addition, they may charge Medicaid, Medicare, and private insurers for the care of patients.
The number of public hospitals in major suburbs declined 27% (134 to 98) from 1996 to 2002. It is thought that the increase in uninsured has drained public hospitals to near bankruptcy.