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Over 6-month waiting lists for access to specialised hospital treatment halved

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
30.8.2005 9.00
Press release -

Legislation on timeframes for access to healthcare which came into force at the beginning of March is now taking effect with respect to waiting lists for non-emergency hospital treatment.

The implementation of the legislation on such treatment puts a 6-month limit on waiting lists. The measure took effect from 1 September. Other measures on time frames for access to healthcare provided by health centres are already being carried out.

The statutory timeframes are part of the nationwide project on the reform of the health service. Efforts to cut waiting lists for hospital treatment have already been put into effect since 2002, when EUR 50 million was allocated by the state and municipalities to speed up access to treatment.

At that time, some 66,000 people had been waiting for treatment for over six months. By mid this year the figure had been cut to 34,000, of whom some 2,000 had been offered treatment in another part of the country but had preferred to wait for treatment at their own local hospital.

According to estimates by Hospital districts, by the end of the year the overall waiting list should be halved again, to about 15,000 cases.

Further information: Mr Jouko Isolauri, Ministerial Counsellor, Health/Medical Affairs tel. +358 9 160 74194, Ms Riitta-Maija Jouttimäki Ministerial Counsellor, Legal Affairs tel. +358 09 160 73806

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