A project to replace Monklands Hospital is now in the planning stages.
Issues being considered include replacing the hospital on its current site or finding a new location for its successor.
Redevelopment on the curren site could include a new ward block, new day surgery unit and an expanded outpatient department.
Dr Rory MacKenzie, chief of medical services at Monklands Hospital, said: “It is fantastic news for our patients and staff that NHS Lanarkshire is starting to make plans for this development. Our staff work tremendously hard to provide an excellent standard of care at Monklands Hospital and these options open up exciting opportunities to further enhance this.”
NHS Lanarkshire chief executive Calum Campbell added: “To ensure we best meet new future population needs in Lanarkshire there is now doubt that we will continue to require a high-quality acute hospital with 450-500 beds.
“Developing an initial agreement is a key step forward that will allow us to consider this in detail and make sure we get the right future acute hospital provision for the people of Lanarkshire.”
Monklands Hospital opened in 1974 and has received more than £35 million over the last six years, with developments such as the Lanarkshire Beatson radiotherapy centre, new laboratories and upgrades to its operating theatres and critical care unit.