The Twenty-Fourth Annual Hospital Census conducted by the Council on Medical Education and Hospitals is described in this issue of The Journal. The survey includes 6,611 registered hospitals compared with 6,655 in 1943. This reduction in the number of hospitals was not accompanied by a corresponding loss in bed capacity; on the contrary, the construction of new units and the expansion of existing services resulted in a net gain of 80,691 beds, the equivalent of a new 220 bed hospital for each day of the year. Again the greatest increase was in the federal group, which now has 551,135 beds, or 74,462 more than the number reported in 1943. The present capacity of all registered hospitals is 1,729,945 beds.
The most striking feature of the Council's report is the continued expansion of inpatient hospital care as evidenced by the unprecedented total of 16,036,848 admissions in 1944 exclusive of newborn infants.