New urgent care site in Venice, not everyone is thrilled

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Posted: Thursday, October 18, 2012 12:02 pm | Updated: 9:15 pm, Thu Nov 1, 2012.

This week Sarasota Memorial approving the purchase of a restaurant site in Venice. They say their plans are to build an urgent-care center there. At issue with it is Venice Regional Medical Center which is only about a mile away.

It's been a handful of restaurants over the years. For the past few it has sat empty. A prime location at the intersection of U.S. 41 and business 41. Monday the Sarasota County Public Hospital Board unanimously approving the purchase of the one and half acre site for more than a million dollars.

Hospital representatives telling us over the phone Thursday that they are not ready to be interviewed but did send us a statement. "As Sarasota County's only public hospital, we provide services to patients from one end of the county to the other. We believe in creating access points that are convenient to where people live, and so you will find a network of outpatient services and urgent care centers that stretch from North Port to Manatee County."

Basically facilities where patients can come in and get care within minutes without an appointment for things like broken bones, injuries, aches, and pains.

The urgent care facility would be about a mile from the Venice Regional Medical Center. Officials there tell us a facility here doesn't make and sense.

Heads for that hospital were also not available for an on-camera interview but also sent us a statement about the project from CEO Pete Wozniak saying "We do not see how this is going to benefit the community of Venice. The needs of the community are already being met by the physicians, our hospital and Gulf Coast Medical Group."

Venice Regional is also currently opposing plans by SMH to build a medical campus near Laurel road and I-75. The publicly funded hospital spent around $25-million for the 60 acres years ago.

Sarasota Memorial tells us they do not have a target date of facility specifics for that project. A spokesperson telling us right now their primary development focus continues to be on their $250 million main campus improvement going on right now in Sarasota. It is scheduled to be complete next year.

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