San Jose City Council Approves $145 Million Proposed Expansion of Regional Medical Center
The San Jose City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved the first and second phases of a proposed $145 million expansion of Regional Medical Center, a community hospital in East San Jose owned by Tennessee-based HCA, the San Jose Mercury News reports. Regional CEO Bill Gilbert said that the first phase of the expansion will begin in the spring, with completion scheduled for mid-2007.
The first phase of the expansion will add as many as 108 beds to Regional, which currently has 204 beds. In addition, the first phase will add new operating rooms for advanced cardiac surgery and neurosurgery, cancer care services, a high-level neonatal care unit, a larger emergency department with a helipad on the roof, a new trauma center, private labor and delivery rooms, an expanded nursery, a medical office building for as many as 60 physicians and an outpatient surgery center.
The second phase of the expansion will rebuild the main tower at Regional and establish new medical office space.
The proposed new trauma center, which would replace the one operated by San Jose Medical Center -- a second hospital owned by HCA that closed in December 2004 -- requires approval from the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors.
San Jose City Council member Daniel Cortese, who voted to approve the proposed expansion of Regional despite criticism of HCA for the closure of San Jose Medical Center, said that HCA officials have "been telling this community since day one, 'We're going to give you a better deal.' We have a worse deal as we sit here today."
Council member Chuck Reed, who "put aside ... personal feelings" about HCA and voted to approve the expansion, said, "It's clear that we need Regional to be successful" (Feder Ostrov, San Jose Mercury News, 1/26).