REGINA -- A Saskatchewan woman alleges her friend who is immunocompromised and has serious health conditions spent around 24 hours in the hallway of the Pasqua Hospital in Regina, before a bed was made available for her.

Now, she and the Saskatchewan NDP are calling on the government for an explanation of why it took a full day for the friend to get a bed.

“She’s been admitted to the emergency room and again they didn’t have beds,” Angela McLean said. “They put her in the hallway and just left her in the hallway completely exposed.”

According to a Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) memo, the number of available beds for COVID-19 patients is starting to become a concern in Saskatoon. The SHA is planning to spread those patients out, but as McLean’s friend experienced, it’s not a problem specific to Saskatoon.

The memo also says there is an increased spread among the younger population and most testing sites are currently running at maximum capacity.

“The reopening of our healthcare system shouldn’t be the reopening of hallway medicine. That’s exactly what we’re seeing,” Ryan Meili, the leader of the Saskatchewan NDP, said.

“When somebody is in the hallway and they’re immunocompromised, people are passing through, patients are passing through who their status isn’t known, we don’t know if they have COVID-19 or not.”

Meili says the intensive care units in Regina are full as well and is calling for an explanation from the Health Minister.

“The accusation from the NDP today is wrong. Our government has made significant investments in healthcare, increasing funding by 65 per cent since 2007,” Health Minister Jim Reiter said in a statement. “We also increased the number of medicine beds by 36 in RUH this year alone.”

The SHA did not say whether it will be making use of the field hospitals set up earlier in the pandemic, but says it did implement a bypass mechanism in Saskatoon last week which allowed the authority to redirect adult critical care to other appropriate units in the province.

The SHA says if more positive cases require hospitalization, plans are in place to meet the demand, and each region of the province has designated areas to expand to.