Our View: Delay tactics should end

Published: Friday, Oct. 4, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Oct. 4, 2013 4:57 p.m. CDT

It’s been well over a year since Centegra Health System received approval from the state of Illinois to build a new hospital in Huntley.

The $233 million, 128-bed hospital was scheduled to break ground this fall at Centegra’s existing health-care campus near Haligus and Reed roads, but a legal challenge that has been dragging out for more than a year puts that timetable at risk.

As we’ve stated in the past, this project will be an economic boon to Huntley and the entire region. About 800 construction jobs will be created as it’s being built, and an additional 1,100 permanent jobs are expected to be added after the new hospital opens, hopefully in 2016.

More importantly, the state’s own data say that McHenry County and northern Kane County are the most underserved areas in the state. The new hospital will provide residents who live in the area better access to health care.

Late last month, the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board reaffirmed its support for the hospital. Illinois is a certificate-of-need state, and any significant projects such as this needs the board’s approval, which it gave in July 2012.

Rival hospital companies – Mercy Health System, Advocate Health Care and Sherman Health – challenged the board’s decision in court. It’s languished there since September 2012.

Now that the review board has reiterated its support for the hospital, Will County Judge Bobbi Petrungaro should throw out the lawsuit and allow Centegra to move forward.

It’s time for these legal delays to come to an end, and for the Huntley hospital to be built.

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