Fewer Hospital Beds Mean Longer Wait Times At Las Vegas Valley’s Remaining Facilities
By TheNevadaGlobeStaff, January 20, 2023 3:11 am
LAS VEGAS – If there are less hospital beds in the Las Vegas Valley, there may be more people in hospitals that are already full, and people may have to wait longer.
Desert Springs Hospital will lose 282 in-patient beds by March. This is happening as the population of the Valley keeps growing, and many local hospitals already describe the current situation as “busy” and often nearly full. Desert Springs will still only offer care for emergencies.
The Nevada Hospital Association’s Week 2 report says, “This closure may be reflected in a slight rise in overall occupancy rates over the next few weeks as these beds go offline and other facilities take in the extra patients.”
In 2022, Desert Springs Hospital treated 9,800 inpatients and 675 geropsychiatric patients, according to the hospital. In an email to FOX5, spokesperson Gretchen Papez said, “Patients who need inpatient care can be moved to one of our other five Valley Health System hospitals, and geropsych patients can be moved to a behavioral health program.”
Statistics from the American Hospital Directory and the Harvard Global Institute show that the Las Vegas Valley has about 4,100 hospital beds.
Mason Van Houweling, the CEO of UMC, says that since Desert Springs is closing, most of the new patients will go to UMC and Sunrise Hospital, which are close by.
“Taking away close to 300 beds from the medical system, which is already under a lot of stress, means that we’re always full. “This means that both UMC and Sunrise will have to face some new challenges,” Van Houweling said. “We know that wait times and the effect they have on the community will have a big effect on us. Taking away 300 beds will be hard on the community, but UMC is ready for the challenge,” he said.
Even though UMC officials said that all patients are welcome, non-urgent patients should go to a UMC Quick Care location or use their UMC Online Care telemedicine service to avoid longer wait times.
At the beginning of 2022, Sunrise Hospital opened a new wing with 70 more patient beds. This is what the hospital said in a statement:
“For the past 65 years, Sunrise Hospital has been dedicated to providing high quality, patient-centered care to the residents of southern Nevada, its surrounding region, and the millions of visitors that come to Las Vegas. As Nevada’s largest acute care facility, level-II trauma center and largest, most comprehensive children’s hospital in the state, Sunrise Hospital and Sunrise Children’s Hospital will work with physicians, EMS and the entire community to ensure the healthcare needs are met.”
In the winter of 2022-2023, COVID-19, the flu, and RSV caused a “tripledemic” that sent a lot of people to the hospital. From 2020 to 2022, the COVID-19 pandemic caused waves of sick people who needed critical care to flood hospitals. Some hospitals were full, and some even went over their limits.
Credits: Fox 5 Vegas
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