Thursday, May 7, 2015
Statement on South Carolina Court of Appeals decision
Berkeley County residents and Roper St. Francis received more good news yesterday when the South Carolina Court of Appeals affirmed its decision in February, finding that Berkeley County can support two hospitals.
The Court of Appeals’ most recent decision substituted their one in February and again rejected Trident Medical Center’s six-year effort to deny the residents of Berkeley County a local choice for hospital services.
With stronger language supporting Roper St. Francis’ position, the Court quoted earlier findings. “The ALC (South Carolina Administrative Law Court) found that 23 percent of those Berkeley County residents who were admitted to a hospital traveled past Trident Medical Center to seek care at Roper St. Francis facilities in downtown Charleston and west of the Ashley River,” the decision states.
This new ruling by the Court of Appeals once again makes it clear that a new Roper St. Francis facility in Berkeley County would be more convenient for our patients who now must travel to downtown Roper Hospital or Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital in West Ashley. The beds proposed for our new Berkeley County hospital are existing beds that will be transferred from Roper Hospital to better serve our patients. We are not adding any new hospital beds to the tri-county area.
During the past six years, Roper St. Francis has prevailed at all four levels of review by the State of South Carolina. Trident Health System must now decide whether to perpetuate this litigation, or stop the legal fighting and clear the way for both Roper St. Francis and Trident to begin construction.
We hope Trident chooses construction, new jobs and more accessible healthcare for Berkeley County, not wasteful litigation.