REGINA -- Saskatchewan premier and health minister have rejected invitations to tour a COVID-19 intensive care unit in Regina.

The invitation was extended from doctors in intensive care at Regina’s General Hospital, to Premier Scott Moe and Health Minister Paul Merriman, and conveyed through NDP leader Ryan Meili.

Meili toured the ICU in Regina last week, and said he was compelled to share the frustrations expressed by hospital staff.

“This came after a number of conversations with people who are working in those facilities, who said to me, direct quote, ‘If only the leadership would come and see what's really going on here, they would understand what we're dealing with,’” Meili said on Monday. 

Meili said he was disappointed that the premier “flatly refused” the invitation to tour the ICU together.

Premier Moe addressed the invitation during Question Period, saying he would not attend a tour of ICUs at this time.

According to last week's Physicians Town Hall, if the current trajectory continues, the province's healthcare system will soon be overrun.

Following Question Period, Merriman told reporters that a pandemic is not the appropriate time for him to take a tour of the ICU.

“If we’re restricting family members from coming through and they’re not allowed to go in and see their loved ones and their family members I don’t think it’s appropriate that I see them either,” Merriman said.

“I just don’t think that I should be seeing the overall perspective right now, in the middle of a pandemic.”

He said he looks forward to touring ICUs and having a discussion with doctors after the pandemic is over.

As of Monday there are 200 people in the hospital with COVID-19 in Saskatchewan. There are 43 people in ICUs in the province, with 31 of them in Regina.