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Half of hospitals can meet treatment timeframe

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
Publication date 28.2.2005 8.05
Press release -

New measures to guarantee timeframes for access to healthcare had a positive impact on shortening hospital waiting lists even before they took effect at the beginning of March. A recent report by the Finnish Association of Local Authorities finds that three years ago the waiting lists of 60,000 have now been brought down to between 35,000 – 40,000.

Under the new measures, by August waiting lists for specialised hospital care have to be reduced to no longer than six months. But many hospitals are not finding it easy to meet the new timeframe.

The report finds that part of the country’s 20 hospital districts is able to stick to the new timeframe for hospital treatment. Over half of hospitals surveyed in the report say they can do so well or with some difficulty. About a quarter of hospitals reckon they cannot meet the timeframe.

Though the success anticipated by hospitals in their reducing waiting lists varies with the types of treatment and surgery in demand, a common problem is a lack of doctors. The report also finds that some hospital districts have been able to prepare for the new treatment guarantees better than others, depending on the financial situation of their member municipalities.

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