Some patients of Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre are sharing rooms with a member of the opposite sex.

With a chronic backlog of patients waiting for admission, the hospital says it's doing whatever it can to keep patients moving through the ER.

Rhonda Crocker Ellacott

Thunder Bay hospital vice president Rhonda Crocker Ellacott says putting men and women together in the same room is a temporary measure. (Jeff Walters/CBC)

Hospital vice president Rhonda Crocker Ellacott said only temporary patient rooms — such as converted sunrooms — will be shared by women and men.

"We only do it as a temporary measure, and it's really just to keep flow going, maintain safety in the emergency department, maintain safety in the wards, and ensure that we're not cancelling unnecessary surgeries and other procedures,” she said.

"It's really just a mitigation measure [so that we’re] not putting ourselves in more overcapacity than we would absolutely have to. So, it's a temporary measure for a very short period of time."

The hospital has been in a state of gridlock — or no open beds — since Nov. 4.