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Why hospitals are becoming San Francisco's No. 1 industry

Host: Joseph Pace

Producer: Yumi Wilson 

Tourism has long been considered San Francisco’s top industry, but a new report suggests that the medical industry is now the city's top money maker. The San Francisco State study released earlier this month claims that employment in the health care industry in the city has grown by 10 per cent over the last decade. Contrast that to the declines seen in many other labor sectors especially since the beginning of the economic downturn.

In this hour, we take a closer look at the report and its implications for the health of the Bay Area economy not to mention the health and well-being of those who live here.

What has driven the growth of the hospital industry in the last decade?

Can we expect this growth to continue and for how long?

Is this growth being seen in other parts of the country?

How will health care reform impact the hospital industry in the years to come?


  • Victoria Colliver, reporter with the San Francisco Chronicle where she has written extensively about the health care industry, concentrating on policy and reform.
  • Dr. Philip King, author of the study and Associate Professor of Economics at San Francisco State University.
  •  Ron Smith, Senior Vice President of the Hospital Council of Northern and Central California, which commissioned the report. Smith coordinates the council's public policy priorities, as well as leads and supports local political advocacy at the city and county level.