New HCA Hospital just blocks from planned Lee Health hospital

Reporter: Gail Levy Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:
Credit: WINK News

A new hospital could create competition in Southwest Florida and help save patients money.

HCA Healthcare plans to build a 100-bed acute care hospital to meet growing needs in Fort Myers. The hospital would be located along Colonial Blvd near Veronica S. Shoemaker Blvd.

That is just down the street from a planned Lee Health hospital.

More health care, more doctors and more nurses sound like a great idea to Mike Stamatopoulos. “I live at Watermark Community, right there on Challenger Boulevard and I guess the new Lee Health Center is eventually, in a handful of years, going to come in right across the street,” said Stamatopoulos.

That new 216-bed Lee Health facility would be within walking distance of him when it’s built in 2027.

But, just two miles away, a new HCA Healthcare hospital will be placed in 2025. Dr. Ravi Chari is the president of HCA Healthcare West Florida Division. He tells WINk News why they’d build a hospital so close to another proposed project. “Our focus has been the idea of providing choice. And so for us to be there be a choice for… for patients to have is something that we think is going to be well-received,” said Dr. Ravi.

For Sandra Waltz, the choice has already been made since she has an existing relationship with Lee Health. “Right now, they send people to the house so we have all kinds of people coming to support us after we get out, so that’s really nice,” said Waltz.

Either way, she’s still happy that the community is given another choice. “So sure, more hospitals, the better. This place is really growing,” Waltz said.

That new HCA hospital will have 100 beds and that includes two trauma rooms, a 16-bed intensive care unit, and a step-down unit for people getting out of the ICU.

WINk news reached out to Lee Health to see if this new hospital would change the prices of its health care. Lee Health responded:

“With the repeal of the certificate of need process a few years ago, Lee Health has known that it was liekly that a for-profit hospital would come into the market. As we have for the past century, Lee Health will continue to serve all residents of this region through our outstanding system of care, which expands well beyond our five acute care hospitals.”

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