By tomorrow, there will be 20 new transition beds at the Royal Alexandra Hospital, as Alberta Health Services (AHS) aims to relieve pressure in emergency rooms.

“(Transition beds) are intended for patients who no longer require acute or hospital based care,” said AHS’s Tadra Boulton.

Those in transition care are still assessed based on their needs, whether they are for long-term, community or assisted living care, or heading home.

Boulton said the transition beds are one piece of a system that needs strategies implemented in order to help patient flow. The new beds will free up some acute care beds, although long-term care beds and facilities are still needed.

“We can’t do it all overnight,” she said.

An additional 29 beds will open in Edmonton in the new year, and 32 will open up in Calgary.

The Edmonton portion will cost $9.4 million.

A total of 80 staff will be hired as a result of the expansion, including nursing staff.

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