UNMH eyeing major expansion while dealing with overcrowding

Local News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Too many patients and not enough beds. That’s what’s been happening at UNM Hospital over the recent weeks, and they’re hoping an upcoming expansion will help alleviate the congestion.

UNMH says they have 542 patients right now and not enough room. Because of that, they have started to turn away patients. The chair of the Emergency Department says they’re doing everything they can to accommodate the recent influx of patients.

“Trying to make space in the in-patient units. One example of that, this week, the children’s hospital actually opened up one of their units to adult patients. So we were able to see adult patients in what is typically a pediatric ward,” says Dr. Steve McLaughlin.

UNMH staff has also resorted to transferring patients to other hospitals, like Sandoval Medical Regional Center, and not accepting incoming patients from hospital transfers.

A UNMH spokesperson says $40 million that came from saved capital will be used to begin the planning stages of a new modern medical facility. That facility would include 48 additional beds.

This comes after UNMH has spent years trying to expand. Dr. McLaughlin says this week shows why expansions like this are so needed for the community.

“Weeks like this where our inpatient census is so high, this is a great example as to why the planned hospital expansion is important for us to continue to provide the care that we need to for the people in New Mexico,” he says.

That $40 million will go towards a project manager and architects. It’s still in the early planning stages. UNMH also received an additional $30 million from the last legislative session to go towards the expansion.

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