Sudbury's hospital is clogged up with elderly patients, despite long-term care beds being added to the community last summer.

The Health Sciences North board of directors was told last night that new beds are full — with even more patients on the way.

Dr. Peter Zalan, the president of the Medical Staff at Health Sciences North said that, without elderly patients stuck in acute care beds, the emergency room would run smoothly.

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Dr. Peter Zalan, president of the medical staff at Health Sciences North, said meeting the needs of an aging population is a top priority.

Zalan said, last summer, only about 30 elderly patients were in acute care beds.

Now there is three times that many.

"Basically our population is getting older ... and this is just the beginning of the demographic," he said.

Board members asked if more long-term care homes were in the works — and the answer was "no."

"Again we know the government has said they're going to give four per cent more funding for community care," said Joe Pilon, chief operating officer at the hospital. "That four per cent needs to be addressed at moving the [alternate level of care] patients out."

Health care officials are expected to meet today to discuss other ways to speed up services in the hospital’s emergency department.