The largest hospital in Israel with over 1,900 beds will be built in Beersheba if the National Council for Planning and Construction approves an expansion of the area which the city can develop on Tuesday, according to Israeli business daily Calcalist.The expanded area which the city can develop would allow the construction of a new hospital and a new industrial zone for pharmaceutical and biotech companies.If approved, 60 days will be given for opposition to be posed to the plan. After any opposition is discussed, the plan will receive final approval and open the way to building permits.Beersheba is currently home to Soroka Hospital, which was founded 60 years ago.The new hospital will be the largest in Israel with about 1,900 beds, 1,000 of which will be for general medicine, according to Calcalist. The remaining beds will be for geriatric care and a mental health center.Sheba Hospital, in Tel Hashomer in Tel Aviv, is currently the largest hospital in Israel with about 2,000 beds and will be submitting a formal bid for the new hospital, said Sheba in a statement to The Jerusalem Post. The bureaucratic process will take at least 5-7 years minimum and a decade to complete the complex, if it is approved in the end. The newly approved development zone will take up about 257 acres between Tel Sheva and Beersheba. The new hospital will take up about 4,305,000 square feet (400,000 square meters), including a 10 story central building and a number of other buildings with 5-8 floors.After the approval by the National Council for Planning and Construction, a tender for the construction of the public hospital with about 500 beds will be publicized with an estimated cost of NIS 1.5 billion, partially from the state budget and partially from the body that is awarded the tender.Facilities for hotels, commerce and logistics will be built next to the hospital as well. In addition, 350,000 square meters will be set aside for offices for biotech and pharmaceutical companies."On the campus there will be medical, academic and biotechnology [facilities] that are directly linked to research and practical medicine," said Kalman Dines, the planner of the CityLink office that is working with the Beersheba municipality and the Israel Land Authority on the planned developments.The development plan also includes the possibility 250-400 apartment units for medical faculty employees, students and senior housing. A light rail train will link the hospital complex to Beersheba and serve 20,000 people daily.In February, the Health Ministry sought consultations with interested parties concerning the establishment of a second public hospital in Beersheba. "This is an exercise in evasion or election propaganda," claimed the Coalition of Health Organizations in the Negev at the time, according to Calcalist. Previous announcements about the "new Soroka" were made by the government in September 2014 and January 2017. "They're throwing sand in the faces of Negev residents," said the coalition.Health Ministry officials told Calcalist in February that the new hospital would start functioning in 2025 in the best case scenario, as they estimated that by then about a million people would be living in the Negev. The business daily now estimates that the plan will be fully implemented within 15-20 years.Mayor of Beersheba Ruvik Danilovich told Calcalist that "Soroka will always be the main hospital in the Negev, but it can't handle all the health challenges that are expected in the future alone. Additionally, I believe that there must be competition in the health system."A new study by the Knesset Research and Information Center published ahead of the "Periphery in the Center" convention found that one out of four residents of the periphery give up medical care because it would require them to travel far to receive care, according to Ynet."Over half of those surveyed answered that in the last year they received medical care in an area far from where they live because the required service isn't offered where they live," said director-general of the Knesset Albert Sakharovich. "This is serious and is due to the lack of certain services in the periphery."