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Saskatoon Health Region sounds alarm over record demand for care

Whether they’re in an emergency room or in recovering in hospital, some 74,700 Canadians left hospital care against the medical advice of their doctor, a new study suggests. File / Global News

SASKATOON – Health officials in Saskatoon are sounding the alarm over a record high demand for hospital care.

Saskatoon Health Region has activated its regional response system to deal with a record number of patients in Saskatoon hospitals.

Officials said that as of noon Thursday, 55 people were waiting in emergency departments for an inpatient bed and around 80 people were waiting for long-term care placement.

“Our patients and families are spending long hours in emergency waiting to be moved up to the unit where they need to receive care,” said SHR President and CEO Maura Davies.

Although emergency room volumes are at the level expected for this time of year, Davies said the “health care system is bursting at the seams.”

“We have many patients who are very sick and requiring longer hospital stays, and a high number patients in hospital waiting to be placed in long term care.”

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To deal with the high demand, the region is looking at possibly expanding capacity at Saskatoon City Hospital along with looking for space at the region’s rural hospitals.

They are also working with other health regions to transfer stable patients back to their home hospitals.

“We are at a point where we need to take immediate action to relieve the pressure and enable our teams to continue to provide safe care,” said Davies.

SHR is also asking people to use the emergency department for true emergencies only.

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