The Ministry of Health in Spain has released new data that shows that on average, the wait for surgery is 93 days in public hospitals. Furthermore, one in every eight patients has to wait more than six months for surgery. Compared to 2017, the average waiting time has reduced by 11 days. The percentage of people waiting over six months for surgery has also reduced by 15%.
In June 2018, there were 584,000 patients in Spain waiting for surgery.
Which Are the Best and Worst Performing Regions?
The figures show the difference in waiting time across the different regions in Spain. The shortest waiting times of 47 days on average are in Madrid and La Rioja. The Basque Country closely follows with an average 48 day wait. The longest waits are in the Canary Islands where there is an average 147-day wait. Catalonia has a 132-day wait, and Castilla-La Mancha has a 137-day wait.
These results tally up with the patient-to-population ratio where there are 8.02 people per 100,000 residents on a surgery waiting list in the Basque Country and 8.05 in Madrid. Catalonia sees the worst results with 21.44 patients waiting per 100,000 residents. Other low performers include Murcia with 18.5 and Extremadura with 19.97 patients.
While the figures are improving, orthopaedic and ophthalmology surgery have the biggest waiting lists. 157,419 patients are waiting for orthopaedic surgery and 128,619 are currently waiting for ophthalmology (often cataract) surgery. For neurosurgery, patients wait for 145 days on average.
The waiting times to see specialists have also been released with an average wait of 57 days, a reduction of one day compared to the figures of 2017. However, it is a longer wait to see a traumatologist with a wait of 68 days and 64 days for ophthalmologists although these figures are still lower than in 2017.