RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The state Court of Appeals has refused to strike down a state law requiring regulators first agree that new medical facilities are necessary based on population and other needs before they can be built.

A three-judge panel of the intermediate-level appeals court ruled unanimously on Tuesday in the case of a New Bern eye doctor who sued in 2020 based on how he says he was unable to expand his practice.

The case stems around what’s called the certificate of need laws.

The opinion writer says the ruling doesn’t mean the rules can’t be challenged in the future by someone else.