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A briefing note obtained via Freedom of Information Request shows that Regina emergency rooms are underfunded and understaffed, according to the provincial opposition.

According to the NDP the memo from July 2019, printed on Saskatchewan Health Authority letterhead, details leaders “requesting more resources for their portfolio.”

“Last month we released documents pointing to ‘an extreme overcapacity crisis’ in Saskatoon ERs. As the documents we’re sharing today show, the situation in Regina is even worse,” NDP Leader Ryan Meili said. “Instead of working to address the shortfall, this government seems more focused on telling frontline workers not to ask for the resources they need to do their jobs in our hospitals.

The NDP argue that long wait times and lack of access to overnight care are just some of the reasons for significant overcrowding in Regina emergency rooms.

A release from the NDP quotes the memo as saying “The Regina Department of EM [Emergency Medicine] has historically been underfunded with regard to emergency physician (EP) staffing.”

Health Minister Jim Reiter said a senior official within the SHA indicated to him that the discrepancy in the number of ER physicians in Regina and Saskatoon come down to 4.6 doctors.

“Since then, three doctors have been funded and hired,” Reiter said. “That leaves 1.6 docs, and we have a budget coming up.”