CEO Maura Davies - Saskatoon health region

CEO Maura Davies says Saskatoon hospitals continue to be overcrowded. She is asking people to try to avoid emergency rooms if possible. (CBC)

Crowding in emergency rooms continues to be a serious issue for Saskatoon hospitals Friday. 

The city's health region said it is still under a lot of pressure with 12 people waiting for beds in emergency rooms. On Thursday there were 55 people waiting for beds. 

CEO Maura Davies said the health region has been trying to discharge as many patients as it can without putting people at risk. 

"We're being very careful not to do that," said Davies. "In some cases, certainly some people still need to be in our hospitals, but when they're ready to go, we want to get them out the door as quickly as we can."

Davies said the space crunch exists largely because there are too many patients who should be in long term care not in the hospital.

"A hospital is not a place for people who really require continuing care," she said. "A hospital is a place for acute care, and the sooner we can get them into appropriate care, different levels of staffing, different levels of supports and programs."

The region said just because it has a handle on the situation now, it doesn't mean that can't change — weekends are traditionally a busy time for hospitals. 

The region continues to ask patients to avoid using emergency rooms if they can. It's asking people to use family doctors and clinics if possible.