09/25/2012 09:23 EDT | Updated 11/25/2012 05:12 EST

Health authority says patients waiting for beds at three N.S. hospitals

BRIDGEWATER, N.S. - A bed shortage is creating serious challenges in emergency departments throughout Nova Scotia's South Shore.

The health authority says it is dealing with too many patients waiting for too few beds at all three of its hospitals.

South Shore Health CEO, Dr. Peter Vaughan, says patients are waiting for beds to become available at hospitals in Bridgewater, Lunenburg and Liverpool.

Vaughan says staff are doing all they can to ensure patients are receiving quality care.

The healthy authority is asking residents who do not require emergency care to visit their nearest walk-in clinic or call 811 for medical advice from a registered nurse.