Two groups are competing for a certificate of need to build a surgical center with three operating rooms in Leland. At a public hearing before the North Carolina Department of Health Service Regulation, representatives from Dosher Memorial Hospital, located 26 miles away in Southport, argued that business lost to the new facility could threaten the hospital’s survival. Dosher is currently paying down $13 million in bonds for new construction. Advocates for a new facility, however, say the applicants would generate new business from an expanding population. One applicant, Brunswick Surgery Center, LLC, a subsidiary of EmergeOrtho, would build a $4.2 million ambulatory orthopedic center; the other, Norvant Health, proposes a $14.1 million center that would provide orthopedic surgery and seven other specialized procedures, including plastic surgery. Those at the hearing who argued against either group getting a certificate of need said that Dosher provides an economic impact of $125 million and employs over 300 in Brunswick County. They contended that the 2016 State Medical Facilities Plan said Brunswick County needed only 0.37 additional operating rooms, and Dosher is said to have 0.56 excess rooms. They further warned that people in Smithville Township, midway between the two facilities, would be steered to the new facility to lower costs for insurers.