patients wait an average of 93 days for surgery at a public hospital in Spain, and one in every eight people wait over six months, according to new data released yesterday by the Health Ministry.

The figures show that 584,000 patients were on a waiting list on 30 June, or 20,000 fewer than a year earlier.

Average waiting times have been reduced by 11 days, and the longest waiting times, of six months and over, have also shrunk by 15% from 30 June, 2017.

Broken down by regions, the best patient-to-population ratio is in the Basque Country, where there are 8.02 people on a surgery waiting list for every 100,000 residents, followed by Madrid (8.05) and Andalusia (8.15). At the other end of the spectrum, the worst performer is Catalonia with 21.44 patients waiting for surgery for every 100,000 residents, followed by Extremadura (19.97) and Murcia (18.5).

The shortest waiting times are in Madrid and La Rioja (47 days), followed closely by the Basque Country (48).

The longest waits are in the Canary Islands (147 days), Castilla-La Mancha (137 days) and Catalonia (132 days).

And the Balearics is also performing well.

On average, patients average patients are waiting 28 days to see a consultant and there are 11.5 people per 1,000 inhabitants on the waiting list for an operation with an average wait of 72 days.