A proposal from Providence St. Mary Medical Center to expand outpatient care at its Providence Southgate Medical Park remains on hold.

This week the Washington State Department of Health announced it has delayed a decision on the proposal for expanded ambulatory surgical care 30 more days.

A decision was slated for April 23. However, the state Certificate of Need program director said in a letter to Providence this week a decision is delayed.

“Our role and desire is to maximize patient access to quality, affordable health care,” Certificate of Need Executive Director Nancy Tyson wrote in the letter. “Unfortunately, the Certificate of Need program is behind schedule for processing decisions because of the current workload.”

The new decision date is May 23.

Providence has proposed a plan that would use a portion of the former Walla Walla General Hospital for two operating rooms and two procedure rooms for outpatient surgical care.

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