Think of them like school districts, but for health care. District hospitals are publicly subsidized and function like county hospitals — only the county is divided into subsections.
Meet the Taxpayer-Funded Hospitals
There are dozens of elected officials in our county, from the high-profile congressional and state representatives to the folks who spend their time overseeing obscure agencies like water districts.
And then there are the people who get elected to run hospitals. Yes, hospitals. Thanks to a quirk in San Diego County’s history, we’re home to four government-run hospital districts, which soak up property taxes and borrow money on the public dime.
What’s up with these things? We take a look in a new Reader’s Guide. Pay special attention if you live in North County or East County: You’re probably covered by one of these hospital agencies, and each one has a unique story to tell about revenue (or lack thereof), management and its ability to play well with others.
We also examine a big issue: Why bother having a public hospital if it’s going to partner with a private health system?