Two empty beds in the new P.E.I. palliative care centre in Charlottetown will soon be occupied by patients.              

Since the $5.6-million stand-alone facility — located near the Queen Elizabeth Hospital — opened in spring 2015, only eight of the 10 beds have been in use.            

Health PEI officials said they were taking time to ensure adequate resources were available to operate the beds.            

The two additional beds will be opened as early as next month, said Alana Sprague, executive director of Hospice P.E.I.

"Two more beds means two more people maybe not spending time in acute care in hospital, and that certainly is more cost-effective to have them here at the provincial palliative care centre than in acute care, because we do know that it does cost more for acute-care services," said Sprague.

"And it's certainly a much more welcoming and homey environment here at the provincial palliative care centre, so we're thrilled to have those 10 beds open."

Health PEI said it's working to increase palliative services overall.