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New Augusta hospital fills up fast

6:44 PM, Feb 26, 2014   |    comments
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AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - The new Maine General Hospital in Augusta has been open just four months and the amount of people using the new facility has taken everyone there by surprise.

It is beginning to cause some major headaches.

When Maine General Health announced plans to build a new hospital, it requested 226 beds. That was the same amount of beds in the two hospitals it was replacing in Augusta and Waterville. That request was denied by the state.

Since opening in November, the new $312 million hospital has been filled to capacity on several occasions. When all 192 beds are filled, the hospital staff must find room for additional patients in the Emergency Room.

"We offer them the option to be transferred somewhere else. If they want to stay then we typically move a stretcher out and move an inpatient bed into the emergency room itself" said Chuck Hays, Maine General's CEO.

Hospital officials are now monitoring the situation to see if this is just a particularly busy time or it becomes a trend. The hospital could request to add more beds but that project will cost a lot more than it would have under the original hospital construction.

NEWS CENTER

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