The Washington State Department of Health has delayed a decision on Providence St. Mary Medical Center’s proposal to expand its ambulatory surgical care again.

The state Certificate of Need Program was expected this week to issue a long-awaited decision on the proposal. Instead it said the decision will be delayed another 30 days due to a staffing shortage that has put application processing behind schedule.

A decision is expected April 23.

Providence plans to use a portion of the former Walla Walla General for two operating rooms and two procedure rooms.

The goal is to help restore capacity lost when General closed in 2017.

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