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A downtown Toronto hospital has issued an alert for three intensive care units it says have either reached their total bed capacity or do not have enough staff to keep all beds open safely.

University Health Network says the alert applies to its cardio-vascular, cardiac and medical-surgical intensive care units at Toronto General Hospital.

A spokesperson for UHN says it took the action due to a staffing shortage and the hospital is actively triaging patients and working with the provincial organization that directs emergency critical care to ensure patients get the most appropriate treatment.

The hospital network says it must also ensure there are beds available on the impacted units for daily surgeries.

The critical care bed alert at Toronto General Hospital is the latest sign of Ontario’s continued health-care staffing crisis, with hospitals across the province forced to scale back or temporarily close emergency rooms and intensive care units.

Last month, UHN said it needed to enlist volunteer staff, medical residents and nursing students to help backstop one of its ERs during a weekend staffing crunch.

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