Dougherty moves forward with hospital study - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Dougherty moves forward with hospital study

The commission said it had less than 60 days to react (Source: WALB) The commission said it had less than 60 days to react (Source: WALB)
Dougherty Commission Chairman Chris Cohilas (Source: WALB) Dougherty Commission Chairman Chris Cohilas (Source: WALB)
The Lee Co. letter (Source: WALB) The Lee Co. letter (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

The Dougherty County Commission is responding after Lee County turned down its request for a joint study on a new Lee Hospital, and after Dougherty commissioners voted to oppose Lee's Certificate of Need application.

On Friday, Lee County Commissioners sent a letter to Dougherty County declining the request. Dougherty Commission Chairman Chris Cohilas calls the decision "disappointing" because it was "an opportunity to put politics aside" and to work together to find answers.

Cohilas says a thorough professional study hasn't been done.

Lee Commissioners say that Georgia Power already did a study indicating the hospital would bring hundreds of job and millions of additional revenues.

Last week, the Dougherty Commission voted to send a letter to the state, opposing a Certificate of Need for the proposed hospital.

Cohilas says the push to send the letter before completing a study is because the commission has less than 60 days to voice its input.

"If we don't object in that window, based on the information that we have right now, then 92,000 citizens have no voice on whether or not this is a good thing or a bad thing for healthcare or regional economic development," Cohilas said.

Cohilas says Dougherty County will complete its own economic impact study. 

If the study proves that the hospital will not have an adverse impact, then Cohilas says he will support the hospital.

You can read both the responses from Lee and Dougherty County commissioners below:

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