After reports that a patient died in a Saskatoon emergency room because of overcapacity pressures and armed with new numbers showing Emergency Room wait times continuing to climb in Saskatoon and Regina, NDP Health Critic Vicki Mowat called today for the Minister of Health to present a plan to address the emergency.

"Frontline workers are raising the alarm that our Emergency Rooms are so overtaxed that people are dying as a result,” said Mowat. “This government’s failures are letting people down."  

Numbers obtained through written questions show a 22 percent increase in Emergency Room wait times in Regina and a 20 percent increase in Saskatoon. Meanwhile, tabled committee documents show the amount of time patients spent waiting for an inpatient bed rose from 18.7 to 20.9 hours in Regina and 27.2 to 30 hours in Saskatoon. 

Last Saturday, Saskatchewan Health Authority officials reported 150 patients in Saskatoon were receiving care in inappropriate spaces.

"This government would rather point fingers or tout decade-old spending numbers than actually act to address the crisis today," Mowat said. "We need a government committed to putting people first by addressing the overcapacity in our Emergency Rooms."