Inner-city hospital closures/relocations: race, income status, and legal issues

Soc Sci Med. 1987;24(11):889-96. doi: 10.1016/0277-9536(87)90282-6.


Hospital closures/relocations are occurring with increasing frequency in the United States and these actions are alleged to have adverse consequences for racial-minorities and low-income individuals. This paper through an examination and review of the literature discusses the reasons why hospitals close/relocate, examines the legal issues and questions that have arisen over decisions leading to hospital closures/relocations and discusses the implications of hospital closures/relocations on the health care of inner-city minorities and low-income individuals. The conclusion suggests that for inner-city indigents hospital closure/relocations means only one thing--a decline in hospital care. If the present trend in hospital closures/relocations continues, a few for-profit hospital chains may have the responsibility for determining community health needs based on what services are most profitable and who will be the recipient of these services.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Economics, Hospital*
  • Health Facilities* / economics
  • Health Facilities* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Health Facility Closure*
  • Health Facility Moving* / economics
  • Health Facility Moving* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Hospitals, Proprietary / economics
  • Hospitals, Public / economics
  • Hospitals, Teaching / economics
  • Hospitals, Urban* / economics
  • Income
  • Minority Groups
  • United States