11/26/2012 06:06 EST | Updated 01/26/2013 05:12 EST

Pooled referrals meant to speed up medical care in Saskatchewan

REGINA - Saskatchewan Health Minister Dustin Duncan says a new pooled referral service should speed up medical care.

Eight groups of specialists are sharing resources so that patients have the option of seeing the next available care expert they need.

Duncan says that will help even out some of the long waits people have faced in specialty areas.

For example, the average wait for a gynecological appointment was 44 days, but with shared referrals it's down to 24.

Four groups of specialists in Regina and two each in Saskatoon and Prince Albert are using the service.

Patients still have the option of waiting to see the doctor of their choice.