The health waiting lists are a problem that affects the vast majority of health systems and that cause serious consequences for patients, since they can worsen your medical condition and reduce your quality of life. As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, in which health activity focused on caring for covid patients, waiting lists grew and, therefore, many communities decided to take extraordinary measures to shorten waiting times.
The Community of Madrid (CAM) launched at the end of last year the Comprehensive Waiting List Plan 2022-2024, with the objective of situating the average delay in less than 45 days, both in non-urgent surgical interventions, as well as in consultations with specialists and in diagnostic tests. The latest data for March record a General drop in the three listsa progressive decrease that confirms that the policies adopted in this area are giving results.
Madrid has become the autonomous community with less waiting time to go through the operating roomas stated in the last SISLE report prepared by the Ministry of Health. While the Spanish average to be intervened in a non-urgent process has an average delay of 120 days, the CAM operates in almost half the time, 63 days, ranking ahead of Euskadi (73 days) or Galicia (75 days). On the opposite side, the communities with the longest average delay for an operation are the Canary Islands (157 days), Extremadura (156 days) and Catalonia and Cantabria (both with 154 days).
In fact, the Madrid LEQ (surgical waiting list) follows its de-escalated for the third consecutive monthas reflected on the website of Waiting lists that the Community of Madrid updates monthly; in March the average stood at 49.50 days, 5 days less than in February (54.84 days) and 12 less than in January (62.37) and than in March of 2022 (62.30). Currently, a total of 74,791 people from Madrid are on structural waiting, 3,541 less than in the same period of the previous year.
External consultations and diagnostic tests
The Community of Madrid is also reducing the waiting time in external consultations and diagnostic tests. The figures for March improve those of previous months, adding, also, three months of decline. In this way, the delay to visit the specialist by the public health service was 53.64 days compared to 60.77 in February or 68.80 in January.
The same way, the March average is lower than the value published in the SISLE report referring to the second semester of 2022, in which the region presented a figure of 75 days, behind other communities such as the Basque Country (48), Castilla-La Mancha (61), the Balearic Islands and Galicia (64) and La Rioja (66). .
Finally, patients waiting to have a test such as an ultrasound, an MRI or a mammogram waited a total of 50.26 days in March, five days less than in February (55.63) and nine less than in January (59.82).
In summary, the latest values published by the Ministry of Health show the improvement in the management of waiting times, placing Madrid as the leading community on the surgical waiting list and as one of the regions where you have to wait the least to see a specialist doctor.
It should be noted that, in addition to halving waiting times, the Madrid Comprehensive Waiting List Plan, endowed with 215 million euros, contemplates strengthening the Sermas workforce with the incorporation of more than 32,000 professionals before it ends 2024. In addition, it seeks greater integration between primary care and hospitals, so that the family doctor can request a greater number of diagnostic tests and the process is easier for the patient. The commitment of the Madrid government is, according to the Minister of Health, Enrique Ruiz Escudero, “to be more ambitious” and that “the people of Madrid continue to be the ones who least expect to be attended to.”
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