The waiting lists for a non-urgent operation in public health reaches an all-time high: 819,964 patients and 112 days of waitingon average, according to data as of June 30, 2023 published by the Ministry of Health.
The average waiting time is similar to that of the same period of the previous year (113 days) and the percentage of patients on the waiting list for more than six months has decreased by 2 tenths compared to June 2022.
“The increase in waiting lists is due to multiple causes. It is one of the deficits that the National Health System has and is a constant that has been maintained for many years,” says Tomás Toranzo, President of the State Confederation of Medical Unions.
Spain breaks waiting record on lists for an operation. “Reading the data produces some alarm (…) but compared to previous data, what has increased is the number of patients on the surgical waiting list because hospital activity has also increased, that is, the number of patients who join has increased…”, explains Toranzo.
Although he insists that this is a “worrying” figure that reflects “the saturation of the National Health Systemthe shortage of staff and the scarcity of resources”.
“In that sense, it draws a lot of attention to how the investment plan that the Government has for Public Health, and which it sent about a month ago to Brussels, since does not increase funding for Public Health And furthermore, the last offer made by the PSOE and Sumar was to increase benefits without increasing resources. So, even though he is recovering, surgical activity has increased, the measures that are being taken only lead one to think that this is not going to be solved in the short term,” he assures.
Furthermore, he does not hesitate to defend the Public Health of Spain: “We continue to have very good health“What is certain is that it is increasingly at an increasingly complicated crossroads (…) if it is being saved it is because of the commitment of professionals (…)”.
Which specialty has the longest waiting list?
The specialty with the longest average waiting time in the hospitals of the National Health System (SNS) is Plastic surgery with 225 days, followed by Neurosurgery with 192 days and Traumatology (133 days).
Heart surgery (58 days) and Dermatology and Ophthalmologywith 66 and 78 days, respectively, are the specialties with the shortest average waiting times.
From Health they give an explanation: “the coronavirus pandemic caused the suspension of a large part of the activity scheduled in hospitals in the first half of 2020 and a decrease in surgical indications”.
PSOE and Sumar agree to establish by law maximum waiting times
PSOE and Sumar have agreed by law maximum waiting times in public health, establishing 120 days for surgical interventions, 60 days for specialized outpatient consultations and 30 days for complementary tests.
“It is unacceptable that a citizen has to wait more than three months to have a first consultation with a specialist doctor (…) We cannot as the Government of Spain sit idly by,” said Sánchez.
Furthermore, in the case of mental health, the maximum waiting time guarantee will be a maximum of 15 days for young people, adolescents and those under 21 years of age, according to the coalition government agreement. It is one of the challenges faced by the new Minister of Health, Monica Garcia.