Roper St. Francis Healthcare is appealing Trident Health System's efforts to reverse a decision allowing both medical providers to build hospitals in Berkeley County.

In doing so, Trident said this week, Roper St. Francis is contradicting itself.

"The appeal is contrary to Roper's public statements that Berkeley County can support two acute-care hospitals," Trident said in a statement.

Trident said the state Department of Health and Environmental Control should have authorized only one hospital for the county. It is appealing a June decision by the agency allowing two, saying DHEC ignored state law when it approved the Roper St. Francis project.

Roper St. Francis said it still supports the idea of two 50-bed hospitals in the county. It said its appeal was a defensive measure. Roper St. Francis said if the state Administrative Law Court finds that only one hospital should be built, its project is the better of the two proposals.