The emergency department at the QEII Health Sciences Centre in Halifax has issued three alerts in the last week to signal an overcrowding problem, CBC-TV reported last night.

CBC reports that on average, the hospital issues two of the so-called Code Census alerts every month.

The report says the alerts are the hospital’s way of telling itself that its ER is overcrowded.

The alerts came after dozens of patients were admitted to the ER but there was no room in the medical unit where they were supposed to go, said the report.

“This is not something we do as a light reaction,” Dr. Sam Campbell, the chief of emergency medicine, told the CBC.