Alabama officials approve $290M MedWest Hospital move

UAB Health System's request to move MedWest Hospital from Bessemer, Ala., to nearby McCalla, Ala., has been OK'd by state officials, according to a local ABC affiliate.

The McCalla hospital will have 200 beds, down from 310 at the Bessemer location. Hospital construction is expected to cost $290 million, and Birmingham, Ala.-based UAB Health System leaders said they hope to convert the Bessemer facility into a psychiatric hospital with at least 100 beds.

"There's a tremendous need. There are not enough psychiatric beds in the state of Alabama. Sometimes, on Monday morning, we’ll have 16 people waiting in an emergency room because they are psychiatric patients, and we have no place to put them," said William Ferniany, PhD, CEO of UAB Health System. It’s a major crisis throughout the state."

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