More than 5,000 people were treated in the Seattle area this year for illnesses unrelated to the coronavirus, but the hospital was unable to meet demand.
The Seattle region is seeing a surge in people with serious illnesses related to the virus, which is spread through coughing, sneezing and sneezes.
But doctors and nurses are struggling to get appointments for patients and the city is struggling to cope with the growing numbers.
Many patients with acute illnesses have never had an appointment for medical treatment, said Dr. David Smith, medical director of Seattle Medical Center’s hospital in Northeast Seattle.
They are the only people in the region who can get care, he said.
“It’s an epidemic we’ve never seen before, so we’re in the midst of an emergency.”
He added that he’s seeing more patients with serious illness who don’t have a physician to see them.
There are currently only two doctors in the hospital, but he’s seen more than 400 patients with chronic conditions, including heart disease, cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.
He said the lack of a doctor for patients is a challenge because they can’t be seen on the ward.
“The people who need care are getting it and they are getting better, and they’re not getting treated,” Smith said.
He also said the hospital has had to change its policy to allow nurses to treat patients, and to hire additional nurses and doctors.
Smith said the situation is becoming more and more acute.
“We’re not going to have time for a patient if we’re not providing care,” he said, adding that the hospital needs to hire more staff.
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said he has called on the Seattle Department of Health and Human Services to step in and make the hospital better.
“Our hospitals are not going anywhere, and we’re going to continue to have a role in helping to support these hospitals,” he told reporters.
Murray added that hospitals across the country are trying to find ways to handle the influx of patients.
“I’m not saying we’re immune from this, but we are going to keep at it, and the people are going be our friends,” he added.
Murray also said Seattle is in the process of expanding the city’s emergency room and he would welcome more money from the federal government to help make the system better.
The hospital is one of two health care facilities in the city that can provide emergency care, and it’s one of many that are working with the federal health agency to get more patients treated.
The federal government has approved funding to pay for emergency care in Seattle, which currently receives $2.3 billion in federal funds per year.
The city has requested $3.9 billion for a total of $6.3 million for emergency room care.
The department is expected to issue an emergency request on Monday for another $3 billion.
The new federal funds will allow the hospital to hire 2,500 additional staff members and hire 2 million additional patients.
Murray said the city needs more money to pay doctors and health care providers, but also to keep up with the demand for care.
“This is a crisis we’ve not seen before,” he acknowledged.