05/21/2015 06:38 EDT | Updated 05/21/2016 05:59 EDT

Saskatoon health region looking to get rid of hallway hospital beds

SASKATOON - The Saskatoon Health Region is looking for a cure for hallway medicine.

Over the next few weeks, 20 hospital beds crammed in locations where they shouldn't be will be closed.

Nilesh Kavia, vice-president of finance and corporate service for the region, says these are beds that are designed for two beds, but over time a third bed has been put in.

Kavia says although the beds are not physically located in the hallway, they are labelled as such because they are not equipped with everything a normal bed would have.

Sixteen of the 20 beds that will be removed by June 5 are at Royal University Hospital.

The others are at St. Paul's, City and the Irene and Leslie Dube Mental Health Centre.

"Many of those inappropriate beds don't have all the functionalities that a proper hospital bed should have. Many of them don't have curtains, many of them don't have call bells," Kavia said.

The health region is also identifying patients who no longer need a bed.

"That bed may have been taken by somebody who can be better served in a long-term care facility, in an alternate care facility, in a home care setting," said Sandra Blevins, vice president of integrated health services for the Saskatoon Health Region.

She added more funding is now being directed to home care as a result.

Blevins also said the hospital is looking at scheduling issues to free up beds more quickly.