CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WVEC) -- It was a battle between health care providers in Chesapeake Tuesday. Sentara was asking the city for permission to install a new women’s diagnostic facility, but Chesapeake Regional Healthcare said if that happens they will soon have a monopoly over the entire city.
After more than two hours of public speaking, consisting of primarily medical professionals, City Council unanimously voted down Sentara.
The plan according to Sentara was to add a women’s diagnostic facility, including a 3-D mammography machine, at their current facility at Edinburgh.
“For me it’s about a choice for women, I’m a proponent of growth, I’m a proponent of change and I’m a proponent of choice,” said Heather Murphy of Sentara.
However, Chesapeake Regional Healthcare says the facility would be less than 6 miles away from Chesapeake Regional Medical Center and this would be the beginning of the end for them. They estimate a $15 million dollar loss in their first year.
“We are the largest employer in Chesapeake and with that kind of loss you could expect massive layoffs and financial instability that could ultimately lead to the closure of the hospital,” said Stephanie Marioneaux, with Chesapeake Regional Healthcare.
Sentara says this is about saving lives not ruining them.
“This discussion tonight is about mammography it is not about an alleged grand plan to drive Chesapeake Regional out of existence,” said Mary Blunt of Sentara.
Chesapeake Regional Healthcare says Chesapeake has the lowest mortality rate in Hampton Roads when it comes to breast cancer. They say cities like Norfolk and Portsmouth need these services the most, but Sentara won’t develop there because the residents aren’t as wealthy.
“Sentara is not concerned with the health and wellbeing of Chesapeake but the health and wellbeing of Sentara and this is at Chesapeake’s expense,” said Bob Oman of Chesapeake Regional Healthcare.