2 hospitals approved for Berkeley Co.; Mayors only want one

BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Berkeley County is one of the biggest counties in the state with no hospital.

The State Department of Health and Environmental Control approved two new hospitals for the county but four of the county's mayors only want one built.

The mayors of Moncks Corner, St. Stephen, Bonneau and Jamestown all signed a petition in support of Trident Health Systems building a hospital on North Live Oak Drive in Moncks Corner.

That's where Moncks Corner Medical Center now sits. It's in the northern part of Berkeley County close to all four mayor's towns.

They say a new hospital Roper has planned for Carnes Crossroads in Goose Creek, would be too far away for northern residents and that residents who live in the southern part of the county can go to Summerville for health care.

Not everyone who lives in Moncks Corner shares the mayors' opinion.

"Either way you look at it, you're going to have some people driving to Carnes which is too far and if you build it in Moncks Corner you'll have people in Cane Bay where that area is too far for them to travel," Angela Hooks said.

"Why not have both of them. The more health care the better," Michael Moore said.

Mayor Peagler says they're trying to get at least ten thousand signatures on a petition calling for  only one hospital to be built in Berkeley County.

Two years ago, the same mayors, supported a plan for both hospitals to be built. Goose Creek Mayor Michael Heitzler is surprised the other four mayors have had a change of heart.

Berkeley County needs two hospitals, Heitzler said.

Both plans call for a 50-bed hospital. Trident Health System is fighting DHEC's decision to approve both hospitals because they don't think there's a need for 100 hospital beds in Berkeley County. The lawsuit is expected to go to court in January.

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