PORTLAND — Maine’s largest hospital has had to turn away ambulances with non-emergency patients this week because it’s overwhelmed with sick patients.

Maine Medical Center says it’s the largest number of patients the hospital has seen in 38 years. Other Maine hospitals are nearing capacity as well.

Doctors tell WGME-TV that part of the problem is that there are a lot of sick people right now, but there’s still the issue with inadequate capacity. Maine Med has 637 beds but it’s not enough. That’s why the hospital is seeking permission for a $500 million expansion.

Dr. Joel Botler says patients are receiving good care but they’re not always getting privacy. Some patients were stuck in hallways while waiting for rooms.

Maine Medical Center in Portland.

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