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Overcapacity at emergency rooms in Edmonton alarming: NDP

WATCH ABOVE: The NDP says chronic overcrowding at hospitals is putting patients at risk. Kendra Slugoski reports.

EDMONTON — Emergency departments around the city have been dealing with an alarming number of overcapacity situations, according to the Alberta NDP.

The party released statistics taken from documents obtained through a  Freedom of Information request Thursday.

The NDP says, over the past two years, overcapacity triggers — essentially when the medical site does not have the ability to respond to the current situation — have more than tripled, claiming it spiked at 366 in October 2014.

(Read the full documents below).

“When a patient is in life-threatening condition and cannot access a physician because our hospitals are too crowded, that is a clear indication that our health care system is in crisis,” said NDP leader Rachel Notley.

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“Because the PCs refuse to take responsibility for this serious problem, the situation is getting worse.”

WATCH: Edmonton doctor speaks out about overcrowding at Stollery Children’s Hospital 

Alberta Health spokesperson Steve Buick says the triggers were happening well before AHS took over health care. He says the NDP is cherry-picking data.

“The pressure does fluctuate from time to time,” said Buick. “One time may be busier than another. Winter is always the busiest time of year. This winter that we’re in the middle of is especially bad, especially in Edmonton, in part because we had a flu season that hammered the oldest people.”

Buick added the overcapacity trigger doesn’t mean an immediate crisis and that the province is adding more beds every year.

Overcapacity triggers reach alarming levels in Edmonton Emergency Departments by Alberta NDP

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