Triage for health care in a metropolis: Paris under Napoleon

Med Secoli. 1991;3(2-3):175-90.


Paris under Napoleon offers the earliest example of medical patient triage in a metropolis. A central admitting office opened at the Hotel-Dieu of Paris in 1801 under the supervision of a municipal hospital council. It admitted about 22,000 patients in the first eighteen months. This number represented about 44% of all applicants; another 16,000 were admitted to various hospitals as emergencies; the rest were treated as outpatients and helped on the spot or referred to district welfare offices, dispensaries, and nursing homes. Thus the historian can discern a concerted effort by hospital authorities to keep indigent patients out of the hospital.

Publication types

  • Biography
  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Diagnosis-Related Groups / history
  • France
  • History, 19th Century
  • Hospital Administration / history*
  • Hospitals / history*
  • Hospitals, Urban / history
  • Humans
  • Patient Admission
  • Patient Selection*
  • Poverty / history*
  • Social Planning*
  • Social Welfare / history
  • Urban Health / history*

Personal name as subject

  • None Napoleon Bonaparte