By Erika Webb
While reports are coming in that Deltona could get a hospital within its city limits, for now it's closest hospital will be Florida Hospital Fish Memorial in Orange City.
"We are proud to serve that community. We understand Deltona covers a sprawling geographic area and are working actively to place healthcare services throughout the community," Florida Hospital spokeswoman Lindsay Rew wrote in an e-mail.
"In fact, we have already opened four physician offices in Deltona and have plans for a large outpatient complex in East Deltona. As the community grows, Florida Hospital Fish Memorial will grow with it. We look forward to working with community leaders to grow in a responsible way that improves access and lowers cost," she added.
Deltona resident Connie Crews said she and her husband, Paul, each have a parent over the age of 85, who have been hospitalized in the past year.
She said Florida Hospital Fish Memorial in Orange City is conveniently located, as is Central Florida Regional in Sanford -- only a 10-minute drive from her home -- but she prefers Florida Hospital DeLand.
"I like the one in DeLand, because they're clean and they're very caring people," Ms. Crews said.
Deltona getting a hospital won't be easy.
Ms. Rew pointed out "Florida has a stringent Certificate of Need process.
"Our data indicates that a CON for Deltona would be very difficult for any organization to obtain at this time given the current supply of beds, available hospital capacity, and population size. For these reasons, Florida Hospital is not planning on building a hospital in the Deltona area. Should these conditions change, we would reconsider this position," she said.
Among the criteria considered by the state Agency for Healthcare Administration for new acute care facilities:
Need, based on availability, accessibility and extent of utilization of existing health care facilities and health services in the applicant's service area; will the proposed project foster competition to promote quality and cost-effectiveness?
Ms. Crews thought for a moment before giving an opinion as to whether or not a hospital should be built in Deltona.
"Well, when you think about it, Deltona has 85,000 people. If it's improved over what we've got, then yes," she said.
Two things are for certain. Hospitals provide jobs and job opportunities make business owners and city officials happy.
But, Lee Lopez, Deltona's public information officer, stated in an e-mail, "No one has confirmed anything, other than health care businesses are interested in the area, and that information is public record."