March 19, 2019 6:45 pm

Moncton hospitals operating over 100 per cent capacity

WATCH: Horizon Health and Vitalite Health say the Moncton hospital and Dr. Georges L. Dumont University Hospital Centre are facing the crunch, especially during the flu season. Callum Smith has more.

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Moncton’s two hospitals are operating over 100 per cent capacity.

Both Horizon Health and Vitalité Health networks say the Moncton Hospital and Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre are facing the crunch, especially during the flu season.

“Usually, we are always 100 per cent or more, or sometimes it goes 110 per cent capacity, so we are 10 per cent overcrowd,” says Johanne Roy, Vitalité’s vice-president of clinical services.

On Tuesday, the hospital was operating at 102 per cent capacity. That number is just shy of the 105 per cent average, according to Roy.

“When it’s 10 per cent over, it’s quite difficult for us to manage the situation,” she says.

Johanne Roy, Vitalité Health Network’s vice-president of clinical services, says the hospital is ‘usually’ over 100 per cent capacity

Callum Smith / Global News

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Roy says roughly 25 per cent of beds are occupied by someone waiting for a placement in palliative care, a nursing home or rehab services.

“The hospital is not the better place or the right place,” she says. “But if we can address this issue too one day, maybe we’re going to be able to have a good functioning with the services we have just inside.”

No one from Horizon Health was available for an interview, but in a statement, a spokesperson confirmed the Moncton Hospital is currently over capacity as well.

“Horizon’s hospitals are overcapacity from time to time, particularly during the winter months with flu season,” it reads.

The statement goes on to say, “When our facilities are faced with such a situation, our staff work together to implement various initiatives to ensure safe and quality care.”

Meanwhile, the New Brunswick Nurses Union says tensions can grow when hospitals are overcrowded and understaffed.

“Yes, family members are frustrated. Yes, there’s a nursing shortage,” said Maria Richard, the union’s vice-president in an interview Thursday. “Yes the emergency departments are taxed and there’s not enough staff.”

The issue of being understaffed and overcrowded isn’t unique to Moncton, says Johanne Roy of Vitalité Health Network

Callum Smith / Global News

Vitalité says the issue isn’t unique to Moncton, but they’re continuing to work with the departments of health and social development to make sure patients receive the proper care in the right place.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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