Published: Apr 10, 2014 6:01 PM EDT
Updated: Apr 10, 2014 6:14 PM EDT

LEE COUNTY, Fla. - Lee Memorial Health Systems, owner of Lee Memorial, Cape Coral, Healthpark and Gulf Coast hospitals says it will abandon plans to build an 80 bed facility in southern Lee County. Community leaders in the Estero area requested a facility after fielding complaints that Naples hospitals and Fort Myers hospitals were too far of a drive in an emergency. But there was opposition to the plan from hospitals in Collier which claimed there would be unfair competition and a hospital in southern Lee county simply was not warranted. A judge recommended that the State not grant Lee Memorial the ability to move forward with the plan. On Thursday, hospital officials discussed scrapping the plans and introduced ideas for a new facility. The new medical center, an ambulatory care facility, would function much like a hospital without beds. Lee Memorial Health Systems officials may release more information about the new plans in the days and weeks to come.