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The People's Hospital - Health care for the impoverished in a wealthy society

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Where does one go without health insurance, when turned away by hospitals, clinics, and doctors? In the book The People’s Hospital, physician Ricardo Nuila follows the lives of five uninsured Houstonians. He reveals their struggles for survival which leads them to a "safety-net" hospital where insurance comes second to genuine care.

The patients eventually find their way to Ben Taub, the Harris County hospital where Nuila has worked for over a decade. Nuila delves into the experiences of his patients,
and exposes how in one of the most wealthy society's preventative health care for the low income is practically nonexistent.

Nuila presents a case that shows the system is broken—and that Ben Taub’s innovative model, which emphasizes people over payments, could help light the path forward.


Ricardo Nuila is an attending physician and hospitalist at Baylor College of Medicine, where he teaches the practice of internal medicine and medical humanities. As a faculty member in the Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy, he co-directs the Program of Narrative Medicine. Nuila is the author of the book The People’s Hospital, Hope and Peril in American Medicine.

"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. Leave a message before the program at (210) 615-8982. During the live show, call 833-877-8255, email thesource@tpr.org or tweet@TPRSource.

*This interview will be recorded on Monday April 10.

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David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi