From Stella Sun
ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (KOAT) – With 678 patients in New Mexico hospitals as of Wednesday, some are forced to wait hours for treatment.
Doctors said it was a scary situation.
“The number of open beds is very, very small,” said Minister of Health and Human Services, Dr. David Scrase.
More and more new Mexicans are showing up in the emergency room.
“Two of our hospitals in Albuquerque – one with 65 people waiting in the emergency room to get a bed. 90 people were waiting in another, ”said Scrase.
He wouldn’t tell KOAT which two hospitals have unsustainable patient numbers, but did mention that the bigger hospitals in the big cities see the worst.
Doctors said the influx of patients who delayed treatment is getting sicker and takes longer to recover. They said that along with COVID patients and overwhelmed staff, this adds to long waiting times.
“We’ve had record numbers in the past few weeks,” said Mike Richards of the University of New Mexico Hospital. “Our capacity was 156% above normal licensed operating capacity.”
This week, the UNM hospital is changing operations for many New Mexicans.
“We have moved to the level where we operate on patients who need to be operated on within two weeks,” said Richards. “We postpone their treatment for patients who can wait longer than two weeks.”
The doctors said they don’t want this information to stop you from going to the doctor. If something doesn’t feel right, they said, see your doctor.
“We still want people who need medical care to get it,” said Richards.
State and federal governments have called on more than 300 traveling nurses, respiratory therapists, and doctors to help the situation. They will request 200 more in the coming weeks. The traveling medical professionals are paid from federal aid funds.
The CNN Wire
™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia company. All rights reserved.