JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Madison County has had a hospital for decades: the Madison County Medical Center in Canton. But we're told the 67-bed hospital is never full.
A new and improved Madison River Oaks hospital is already going up off the Nissan Parkway. Is another hospital needed on top of this one?
Attorneys for St. Dominic Hospital in Jackson say yes. St. Dominic wants build its own hospital in Madison County, and move 71 of its Jackson beds there.
It's the subject of a Certificate of Need, OR CON, hearing at the State Department of Health.
"We're talking about the fact that Madison County does not have enough beds to serve the population of around 100,000 people. It has the lowest ratio of beds for practically any county in the state," says St. Dominic attorney Ed Brunini.
And Madison County has been growing so quickly. To many, it makes sense for St. Dominic to build a $120 million facility near the Reunion Parkway.
But attorneys for MCMC and Madison River Oaks say if a patient suffers a high level trauma or needs a serious heart procedure, they would still have to travel to Jackson for care.
"Up until this year, St. Dominic has not participated in the trauma program," says MCMC attorney Tom Kirkland. "There are levels of trauma hospitals in the state. Their hospital in Madison County, if they have it, would be a level four. They would not be able to do bypass surgery, they couldn't do stints."
But St. Dominic says it has something to offer Madison County, and plenty of the citizens lining the walls at the hearing support St. Dominic's application.
After the hearings, Hearing Officer Cassandra Walter will decide if the CON is in compliance. She will then pass it on to the courts, and the final decision will likely be made by the Mississippi Supreme Court.
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