By The Associated Press
OXFORD — Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi has been given state approval to build a new medical center in Oxford.
The Mississippi State Department of Health issued a certificate of need for the project Thursday. Mississippi requires a CON in a process designed to avoid duplication of health care services and control costs.
Baptist now has five years to complete the new hospital.
Baptist recently purchased 160 acres in southeast Oxford for the new hospital. The site is just west of the current hospital.
While the new facility will have the same 217 beds the current facility has, at least when it first opens, the hospital’s departments will expand and will be more state-of-the-art.
Officials say they hope to begin construction in early 2013 with an estimated two- to three-year construction time.