St. Elizabeth’s Hospital received regulatory approval to relocate from downtown Belleville, Ill., to O’Fallon, Ill., in suburban St. Louis.
The hospital plans to build a 144-bed, $253 million facility in O’Fallon to replace its 303-bed hospital in Belleville. The existing facility will be used for outpatient services.
As part of the move, St. Elizabeth’s will be required to keep at least 200 employees at its Belleville location once the new hospital is completed. That condition expires two years after the new hospital’s completion, which is slated for 2017.
The plan has drawn criticism from Belleville officials and others, who worry about its effect on the city’s downtown area and say the move will limit health care access for the region’s poor.