BID TO CUT WAIT­ING LISTS

Satur­day op­er­a­tions planned to re­duce lengthy de­lays

Costa Blanca News (North Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - By Nuria Pérez

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.

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