SC hospitals waiting for high court's direction

By SEANNA ADCOXAssociated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina's medical facilities are taking a wait-and-see approach to spending millions on construction and equipment after Gov. Nikki Haley's veto put a bureaucratic process she has long opposed in limbo.

The state health agency suspended the Certificate of Need program after legislators upheld the budget veto last week, giving health providers the green light to build.

But state law still requires medical facilities to obtain a certificate before building, expanding, or buying expensive equipment.

Dozens of projects totaling more than $100 million were under review, ranging from $21,000 to add four patient beds to $12 million to add a fourth floor.

A Haley spokesman said she thinks hospitals can proceed. But House Speaker Bobby Harrell is urging caution.

Health providers hope the state Supreme Court will clarify the situation.

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