Today NDP Leader Ryan Meili called for the government to release figures on testing wait times and fix the lack of testing capacity in the province that is causing severe access backlogs. He also called for an explanation of why the government had decreased staffing levels at a time when demand and need are rising.

“It’s inexcusable that we are months into the pandemic, but people in the province are having to wait hours on 811 to speak with someone, days more to be called back, only to be told that they will have to wait a week before they can schedule a test,” Meili said. “These delays put the re-opening of our economy and our schools at risk. The government must take immediate action to address this.”

Meili called on the government to start including how many people are waiting for testing and the average wait time in daily briefings. Other provinces, including Alberta, release their testing figures to the public.

Meili noted that the Sask. Party has allowed Saskatchewan’s per capita testing rate to drop to only 60 per cent of the national average.

“It’s clear the demand for testing has risen when people are waiting several days for a call back. The premier needs to explain why staffing levels and capacity have dropped as need is rising.” Meili said. “We need a plan that puts people first, that has the proper staffing in place, and that proactively addresses testing wait times.”

Meili also called for further clarity on plans to increase mask use in Saskatchewan.