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‘It’s terrifying’: Regina woman crammed into hallway at Pasqua Hospital for nearly a week

WATCH: A Regina woman says she was crammed into a hallway in a bed at the Pasqua Hospital next to several other patients for nearly week. Katelyn Wilson explains.

Oct. 24 UPDATE: Calling it unacceptable, Health Minister Jim Reiter said he’s ordered the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) to review the situation.

He also asked that they reach out the to the patient, Angela McLean. The review will look at a number of issues included beds – the Pasqua Hospital recently received 24 more –  and ER physician staffing.

“We need to understand if it was a staffing issue or if it’s just a capacity issue, or probably a combination of both, but they’re going to need to review that as well,” Reiter said.

Opposition Leader Ryan Meili, who practiced as a family physician prior to winning the NDP leadership, said he has seen ER wait times climb under the Saskatchewan Party government.

“I spoke recently to emergency physicians in [Regina] about what it’s like to work at Pasqua. The increased intensity of the care they’re needing to provide and the absolute inequity when it comes to the number of staff that are available compared to other centers, Regina emergency rooms are under siege and the government has failed to respond,” Meili said.

Reiter put no definitive timeline on when the review should be complete, noting he wants it done well but quickly. The minister hopes to see the report in the next few weeks.

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A Regina woman says she was crammed into a hallway at Pasqua Hospital with several other patients for nearly week, after being admitted due to a recent diagnosis.

Angela McLean says she was admitted to the hospital last Monday, but left in the dark with no answers until Friday, waiting for a room that never came.

“It’s terrifying. That’s the only word I can think of,” McLean said. “When I told I was admitted I thought that meant admitted to the hospital.

“In the end it meant admitted to a hallway — a hallway full of patients.

READ MORE: Hospital overcrowding, staff shortages have more nurses seeking medical leave, says NBNU

“We had no level of hygiene, not for us or the nursing staff even. They had no sinks, no running water, they didn’t have proper lighting.”

Stuck in the back of a hallway in a bed next to six other patients, McLean says she was told by nurses they were dealing with overcrowding and it was all part of patient flow.

READ MORE: Concerns heard regarding parking and safety at Regina’s General Hospital

“Everyone was hoping for a room, some patients couldn’t even advocate for themselves because of their age or their illness,” McLean said.

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“You had this elderly woman who was suffering and unaware of where she is next to someone who is vomiting. There is spread of germs and disease, next to someone else who is not conscience- next to me who’s just struggling to get by hoping for a room.”

Saskatchewan Health Authority did confirm that Pasqua Hospital emergency was required to use an alternate space for care a number of times last week. The authority said that as of 4:30 p.m. Friday, there were eight patients in the emergency department waiting for beds in other units, and seven patients in the waiting room.

Saskatchewan Health Authority concerned by West Coast measles outbreak
Saskatchewan Health Authority concerned by West Coast measles outbreak

The authority added that overall hospital capacity was at 100 per cent and thanked everyone for their understanding and patience if they experienced delays, while encouraging patients with immediate concerns to connect with care staff in the facility.

But McLean says she plans to file a formal complaint outlining her concerns in hopes of making a difference for patients in the future.

“Being in a hospital for a week when you’re sick and vulnerable, there’s no dignity, there’s no hygiene, there’s no safety,” McLean said.

“Us as patients and the people trying to treat us, we’re all at risk — it’s terrifying.”