Nfld. & Labrador

Hospital beds blocked with Labrador elderly

One-third of all the beds at the hospital in Happy Valley-Goose Bay are being used by older people who aren't sick, but have nowhere else to go.

One-third of all the beds at the hospital in Happy Valley-Goose Bay are being used by older people who aren't sick, but have nowhere else to go.

Their families aren't able to take them in and the area’s long-term care centre is full.

Last Friday all 25 beds at the hospital were full, and there was a waiting list.

"The staff at the hospital are very aware of the needs and the crunch for acute care beds, and we try every way possible to make sure that patients are there only for the necessary time they need to get their service," said Eric Power, acting CEO at the Labrador Grenfell Health Authority.

Power said it's a problem that has sadly become common.

"It’s something that we deal with on a regular basis," he said. "We have a very dedicated and competent staff who go around everyday assessing patients to see if we can actually discharge patients today instead of tomorrow, or whatever."

Liberal MHAs have called on the health authority and the provincial health department to review the region's long-term care needs.

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