D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s plan to replace the only public hospital east of the Anacostia River calls for a facility less than half the size of the existing hospital.
The plan calls for a 106-bed hospital to replace United Medical Center (UMC), which has 234 beds, The Washington Post reported.
The new $248 million medical center will be built on the St. Elizabeths campus, which currently houses a small facility for the mentally ill and a sizable amount of land slated for redevelopment.
The District plans to replace the existing, financially challenged hospital in Southeast with a more modern, economically viable one.
Plans call for a new emergency rooms but have not confirmed whether there will be an obstetrics ward. The D.C. Department of Health closed UMC’s obstetrics ward in August for health violations, and the board privately voted to permanently close the ward in December.
Bowser has set aside money for the new facility’s construction costs through 2023, but Council members like Vincent Gray (D-Ward 7) hope to fund the hospital sooner.