Photo: Santa Clara Valley Medical Center

Facts about California's Public Health Care Systems

California’s 21 public health care systems provide a range of comprehensive services including primary care, outpatient specialty care, emergency and inpatient services, rehabilitative services, and in some instances, long-term care.

Public health care systems care for a diverse patient population:

  • Nearly 60% of patients identify as persons of color
  • 37% of patients identify as Hispanic or Latino

Though accounting for just 6% of hospitals in the state, these public health care systems:

  • Serve more than 3.7 million patients annually, a 30% increase since 2014
  • Operate in 15 counties where more than 80% of the State’s population lives
  • Provide over 40% of all hospital care to the remaining uninsured in California
  • Provide nearly 40% of all hospital care to Medi-Cal beneficiaries in the communities they serve
  • Operate over half of all California’s top-level trauma and burn centers
  • Provide over 10 million outpatient visits each year
  • Operate more than 200 outpatient clinic facilities
  • Train half of all new doctors in hospitals across the state
  • Employ nearly 90,000 individuals

Serving Patients with Social Needs
In public health care system communities:

  • 131,000 individuals experience homeless
  • 3.1 million individuals experience food insecurity
  • 3.8 million individuals live below the federal poverty line
  • 2.3 million individuals remain uninsured