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Saskatchewan premier declines opposition’s invitation to tour Regina ICU

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe has declined Opposition NDP Leader Ryan Meili's invitation to tour intensive care units in Regina. Liam Richards / The Canadian Press

Saskatchewan NDP Leader Ryan Meili extended an invite to Premier Scott Moe to tour Regina’s COVID-19 intensive care units and get a closer look into what those on the front lines are dealing with.

The invite came during question period Monday. However, Moe declined the invitation, saying it would be inappropriate at this time. Meili recently visited a Regina ICU and said the struggles are evident.

Read more: Regina COVID ICU rooms move to double occupancy

“Our health care professionals are frustrated. They don’t know how many more alarm bells can be sounded. They don’t know how they can keep saying that we are in major trouble and not have this premier listen,” Meili said.

“The least the premier can do is work with me to arrange a tour and get a picture of what our hard-working doctors, nurses and front-line staff are dealing with every day.”

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Following question period, Paul Merriman, Saskatchewan’s health minister, backed Moe’s decision to decline Meili’s invitation, saying he doesn’t believe visiting ICUs during the height of the pandemic is a good idea.

Read more: Saskatchewan reaches record-high ICU admissions due to COVID-19

“There are pressures in the ICU and I don’t think they should be stopping their day-to-day business to tour people through,” Merriman said.

“Besides, there are regulations in there and restrictions in there and it isn’t something politicians should be wandering through at this point in time.”

The province’s hospitals are currently providing care for 200 patients with COVID-19 — 157 are receiving inpatient care and 43 are in intensive care.

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