10/13/2015 07:10 EDT | Updated 10/13/2015 07:59 EDT

Sask. Government Is Failing To Reduce ER Wait Times, Says NDP

The ER wait-time target was announced in 2012.

Liam Richards/The Canadian Press

REGINA — Saskatchewan Health Minister Dustin Duncan says the government will not reach its goal of eliminating emergency room wait times by 2017.

Duncan says the plan is still to substantially reduce wait times by then — and ultimately eliminate them — but he isn't giving a new timeline.

The Opposition NDP is accusing the Saskatchewan government of quietly backing away from its promise.

NDP Leader Cam Broten says the decision was just a few lines in the Ministry of Health's annual report.

Broten says there have been horrific consequences because of long ER waits, including the case of a 45-year-old man who went to a Swift Current hospital with chest pains and died after waiting 3 1/2 hours.

Premier Brad Wall, who announced the ER wait-time target in 2012, says progress is being made and the government is not backing away from its goal.

Also on HuffPost:

Photo gallery Healthcare Queue Jumping in Alberta and B.C. See Gallery