Olive Branch moves closer to a new hospital

A decision by the Mississippi Board of Health Wednesday may finally clear the path for a long-sought hospital in Olive Branch.

By a 5-3 vote, the health board voted to change the certificate-of-need process, allowing counties with a population of more than 140,000 to have a second hospital.

The action means Memphis-based Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare Inc. is able to proceed with filing for a certificate to build a 100-bed facility in Olive Branch.

“What a historic day,” said state Sen. Merle Flowers, R-Olive Branch. “We’ve been up against a brick wall of bureaucrats at every single turn and didn’t have much success through the legislative process. It was a close vote, but thankfully the board heard our cries loudly, clearly and took action.”