The decision to build a hospital in Columbia Co. has been postponed and state officials will play a major part in the decision.
Commissioners voted Wednesday evening to allow hospitals to directly apply to state officials.
Chairman Ron Cross said it will allow the hospitals to fairly apply for the chance. He also said many citizens reached out criticizing the different proposals, and this was the best decision for the future of the county.
Cross said all three hospitals expressed interest in applying to state.
In response to the decision, Shawn P. Vincent, Vice President of Partnerships, International Healthcare and Strategic Affiliations Georgia Regents University & Health System, released the following statement:
"This has been a long and complex process. Certainly all of the hospital proposals were unique and offered great opportunities for the future of health care in Columbia County. In listening to the community and its leaders, we are confident that Georgia Regents can provide the level of commitment, expertise, and longevity that will be needed for a project of this magnitude. Our proposal is very forward-thinking – addressing not just today's needs, but what the hospital of the future should be able to provide for the citizens of Columbia County. We appreciate the time and thought that both the committee and the Commission put into this effort, and we respect the decision made tonight to let the Department of Community Health decide. We will evaluate our options and determine the appropriate next steps."