The Victoria Hospital is running low on emergency room beds.
The emergency department is normally over capacity, but will usually have a couple extra beds available. Currently, they do not have any beds available, PAPHR vice president of Integrated Health Services Carol Gregoryk said.
“We have been extremely overcapacity where we have our emergency room full of people waiting for in-patient beds as well as people waiting in the hallways on all of our floors for an in-patient bed,” Gregoryk said. “We do have a lot of sick people at this point in time but we do have a large number of people who are waiting for long-term care beds in our region as well. They take up an acute care space that might otherwise be used for an acute care person.”
Although the department is seeing more people come in with illnesses and emergencies, it is also seeing a lot of people who do not need the emergency room.
“We do have some folks that could be going to a walk-in clinic or a health care practitioner during the day,” Gregoryk said. “We have several that operate until 10 p.m. We would prefer that people go there. If it is an emergency, absolutely come to the emergency department, that is what we are here for.”
Gregoryk said they are looking for solutions to the problem.
“We work with our physicians to help get discharges out of the hospital so we can move folks into beds as soon as possible,” Gregoryk.
Since they are overcrowded, one of the solutions was to postpone some scheduled surgeries.
“We have had to cancel some surgeries this week too as a result,” Gregoryk said. “They are surgeries for people who would require an in-patient bed following surgery. We have had to cancel them in order to handle the load of people we have within. It is not fair to those folks at all that we have had to cancel their surgeries.”
People who are unsure if their situation is emergent are asked to either call their local health-care provider or the HealthLine at 881 or www.healthlineonline.ca.
“Most people know if they can’t breathe, having chest pain or have a broken bone, you know in your heart you have to get in there,” Gregoryk said. “We really would appreciate if people (in non-emergent situations) would use the walk-in clinics rather than the emergency department.”