Local News

Fight brews for new ORs in Wake

Posted February 15, 2010 2:04 p.m. EST
Updated February 15, 2010 3:46 p.m. EST

— State regulators have determined that three more operating rooms are needed in Wake County to meet surgical demands, and the three major hospital systems in the county all want them.

Duke Raleigh Hospital filed a request Monday for two operating rooms, while WakeMed and Rex Healthcare have each applied for all three of the surgical facilities.

WakeMed wants the operating rooms at its Cary hospital, where the current operating rooms ran at 99 percent of capacity last year, spokeswoman Heather Monackey said.

The Cary hospital would renovate 3,304 square feet adjacent to the existing operating rooms for the addition, Monackey said. If approved, the project would cost an estimated $5.9 million and would be completed by October 2012.

Rex's application calls for placing two at a Holly Springs facility the hospital plans to build and a third at the hospital's main campus in Raleigh, spokeswoman Melody Hunter-Pillion said.

From 2006 to 2009, surgical volume at Duke Raleigh Hospital has increased 31 percent, and the number of procedures performed by Duke faculty at the hospital has increased more than 30-fold, officials said. Outpatient surgeries at the hospital increased by 35 percent during that period.

"We are planning to renovate and expand surgical services at Duke Raleigh, both to meet current demand, which now runs ahead of capacity, and to meet the growing needs of an aging population for sub-specialty inpatient surgery," hospital President Douglas Vinsel said in a statement.