KENNEWICK, Wash-- At a crowded public meeting Wednesday several doctors and staff at Kennewick General Hospital say their current facility is not meeting their needs.
Several KGH staff say the 60 year old hospital is too small and too old. They want to build a new medical campus in Southridge.
In 2007 voters did not pass a levy increase to finance a new hospital there. They now plan to finance the new facility through a mix of different funds like federally backed bonds and state and federal grants. The cost would be $113 million.
It will provide much better access for people in the community to get to these people particularly the aging population that we have here," said Victor Johnson, Kennewick General Hosptial Board Member.
Some opposed to the hospital say 40 percent of patients seen at KGH don't live in the the tax district and they would not want to subsidize it.
"Kennewick is trying to compete with Kadlec and I think that's the bottom line. They think they can better compete if they have a new facility near the expressway in a much richer neighborhood out at Canyon Lakes than being in the downtown area of Kennewick," said Larry Chapman, former CFO of Lourdes.
Hospital staff say it's vital. From 2001 to 2007 they've had a 12 percent increase in patients.