Both Moncton hospitals at over 100 per cent capacity

Overcrowding continues at the two hospitals in Moncton, with up to a quarter of beds in at least one of the hospitals being taken up by patients who don't need to be there.

Both the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont and the Moncton Hospital say they are at an occupancy rate of over 100 per cent.

Gilles Lanteigne, the president and CEO of the Vitalité Health Network, said a lot of the overcrowding is the result of patients who may not need to be in hospital but have nowhere else to go.

"We do have people that are are waiting for what we call alternative level of care," Lanteigne told Information Morning Moncton.

"Unfortunately they don't have an alternative. So when you have 20 to 25 percent of your beds occupied by people not needing these services anymore it creates a bit of a tension."

Patients waiting in ER

Lanteigne said that the occupancy rate of more than 100 per cent means that in some units every bed is taken, and the hospital has added beds to some rooms or put beds in areas where there wouldn't normally be any.

The overcrowding has increased emergency room waiting times because people who need to be admitted have to wait until beds are freed up.

Lanteigne said staff are working to open up beds quickly, so people can be moved out of the ER.

This isn't the first time overcrowding has become a problem at the Georges Dumont.

CBC

In March 2018, the hospital had to divert some ER patients to the Horizon-run Moncton Hospital for three hours early on a Saturday morning.

In February, CBC News reported that the large number of vacancies at Vitalité has led to a 26 per cent jump in overtime by nurses at the network.

The New Brunswick Nurses Union said the situation could become "catastrophic" if the situation isn't solved.

Then just last week a nurse was attacked at the Georges Dumont and seriously injured.

Taxed system

Lanteigne said the overcrowding is not unique and the whole system is taxed.

He said it's important to get people out of hospital as soon as they are able to — and not only because of the bed crunch.

Staying in hospital too long can have a negative impact on a patient's quality of life, Lanteigne said.

"A person that's in a hospital waiting to go home, it's been demonstrated that every day that they stay in a hospital that is over-extended after they've been discharged, they're losing some some mobilization, that they're losing some autonomy."