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Watford City, Stanley hospitals planning upgrades

WATFORD CITY, N.D. (AP) -- Hospitals are planning multimillion-dollar upgrades in two growing cities in western North Dakota's oil patch.

McKenzie County Healthcare Systems plans to replace its hospital in Watford City with a $58 million facility. The Mountrail County Health Center in Stanley is upgrading its hospital emergency room and nursing home and expanding its clinic in a $6.3 million project.

Both projects are aimed at dealing with population growth tied to the oil boom in the region

In Watford City, emergency room visits have increased five-fold since 2006. Officials say trauma visits have increased from a couple per month to a couple per week.

In Stanley, officials say the demand for emergency room services has grown by more than 50 percent.