LOUISBURG — People in Franklin County are once again at odds over Franklin Regional Medical Center's proposed move from Louisburg to Youngsville.
Franklin Regional's new partnership with Rex Healthcare brings the hospital's proposed move to Youngsville back into the spotlight. The state rejected the hospital's original application to move over the summer.
Hospital administrators said they hope their joint venture with Rex will help their chances to get state approval.
“We have the right site for this new $100 million hospital relocation,” said Franklin Regional CEO Brian Gwyn.
That's where the county is split. Some argue the hospital should stay in the center of the county to be closer to residents in more rural corners.
Hospital administrators said they have a solution to those concerns. In their second certificate of need application, they proposed the creation of two new satellite offices – one in Louisburg and one in the northeast corner of the county.
“I feel like that’s just a Band-Aid. It really hasn’t answered the question, and it doesn’t solve the problem,” said Louisburg Mayor Karl Pernell.
He says the move to Youngsville is simply a money-maker for the hospital.
Others say the hospital can't afford not to move. Right now, 70 percent of people in Louisburg go to hospitals outside of Franklin County. A new facility could change that.
“If we have people that need health care in Franklin County, then they need to be going to a hospital in Franklin County,” said Franklin County Commissioner Lyn Buffaloe.
Hospital officials plan to hold another public hearing on the proposed move sometime in January. They expect it will be about six months before they get an answer from the state.