Court rules two hospitals can be built in Berkeley Co.

BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - The South Carolina Administrative Law Court released a ruling on Wednesday that upheld the Department of Health Environmental Control decision that stated two hospitals could be built in Berkeley County.

Roper St. Francis released a statement following the ruling saying it can now move forward with the construction of a hospital in the county.

"Roper St. Francis is very pleased that the court has upheld DHEC's 2009 decision to allow both hospitals, but it is the residents of Berkeley County who have won," said David Dunlap, president and CEO, Roper St. Francis Healthcare. "Roper St. Francis has fought hard for Berkeley County for more than three years on this issue. We have not wavered in the position that both hospitals, proposed for two different areas, are needed and would be supported."

Officials with Trident Health System say two hospitals in the area are not needed and could not be successful or financially stable for the long term.

Trident Health System says they plan to appeal the decision and released the following statement:

"Trident Health is disappointed with the South Carolina Administrative Law Court's decision that two hospitals can be built in Berkeley County and believes that its decision was made in error. In August 2009, Trident appealed the decision by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) to grant a Certificate of Need (CON) to both Trident Health and Roper St. Francis to build hospitals in Berkeley County. Trident believes that original  decision went against DHEC's own State Health Plan and regulations, which are in place to determine the need for new hospital and medical services, based on population growth and utilization in a given service area."

Roper St. Francis and Trident Health System were both approved to build new hospitals in June 2009, one in Goose Creek and the other in Moncks Corner.

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