11/18/2013 06:58 EST | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

ER problems in Regina raised in question period; Wall says doc shortage all over

REGINA - The Saskatchewan NDP raised questions about the Regina Qu'Appelle Health region advising people to stay away from hospital ERs due to a doctor shortage.

The health region sent out a notice Friday asking people to use walk-in clinics or their family doctor, if possible.

NDP Leader Cam Broten asked in question period Monday what the Saskatchewan Party government is doing to address a doctor shortage in Regina.

Broten says patients are told to visit their family doctor, but they can't find doctors because of the same doctor shortage.

The NDP leader also says it's a concern when people are told they shouldn't go to an ER, especially when the economy is strong.

Premier Brad Wall replied that the province is funding 26 positions for ER doctors in Regina, adding there are only 20 doctors working.

"And it speaks to the shortage that's not just in effect here in Regina, but an ER doctor shortage that you could really see right across Canada and all over North America," Wall said.