BID TO CUT WAITING LISTS
Saturday operations planned to reduce lengthy delays
OPERATING theatres in public hospitals in the Valencia region will open on Saturdays to reduce waiting lists.
Regional councillor for health Carmen Montón said this week: “We are trying to do more with the resources we have to reduce waiting times.”
According to figures released by the regional health department in June, a total of 66,512 patients are waiting for an operation, with the average waiting time standing at 107 days.
A total of 14,225 patients have been waiting for three to six months and 12,133 have been waiting for more than six months.
The specialities with the longest average delays are vascular (192 days), neurology (160 days), paediatrics (131 days), traumatology (130 days), maxillofacial surgery (120 days), plastic surgery (121) and general surgery (95 days).
The departments with the largest number of patients on the lists are traumatology (22,702 patients), ophthalmology (14,578) and general surgery (10,721).
Surprisingly, some of the specialities with the longest waiting times also have the lowest numbers of patients on their lists, indicating that not enough specialised surgeons are available in public hospitals.
Sra Montón noted that since the coalition government came to power in Valencia two years ago, the department for health has ‘done away with the B list, meaning that the department is no longer lying over waiting times’.
The councillor explained that the former Partido Popular (PP) government had ‘hidden’ the names of 10,000 patients, who would have added 3.5 million days to the old waiting lists.
Sra Montón said that patients were now being kept informed on a personal level of when they could expect to have their operation.