Waiting times for surgery have not improved
29 June 2006
MADRID — One out of every 100 people in Spain is on a state hospital waiting list for surgery, the government said on Thursday.
The health ministry said currently 358,050 people were on waiting lists for operations, but these figures do not include Madrid, which has a different counting method.
The figure is nearly the same as two years ago, showing that nothing has improved despite promises to cut delays from the government.
And other figures show the situation is getting worse.
The average waiting time has gone from 81 days to 83 days.
The percentage of people who wait six months or longer for their operation is 9.48 percent – a rise from 9.16 percent two years ago.
Elena Salgado, health minister, blamed population growth for the failure to reduce waiting times.
There are now two million more people in Spain than in 2003. The total population is over 44 million.
Salgado also said people demand surgery as soon as symptoms are diagnosed whereas previously they would have been willing to wait.
But the failure to cut waiting times comes after a 19 percent rise in the number of doctors’ surgeries since 2003. In 2005 there were 1.1 million.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news