Patients waiting at a medical centre. | Gemma Andreu


At the end of July there were 7,248 patients waiting more than two months for a first appointment with a specialist. This represented a 75% increase over last year. In all, there were 44,880 patients waiting for a first appointment, 26% more than last year. The average waiting time had meanwhile risen from 29.6 to 35.5 days.

When the health minister Patricia Gómez appeared before parliament's health committee last week, the Partido Popular's Marga Duran told her that it was important to also take into account second visits. This is because it is often the case that there is a series of tests that will determine when there is a second appointment. The process is therefore lengthened accordingly. A patient can wait up to a year for an ultrasound test, Duran noted.

Gómez accepted that there is more work to be done on waiting lists. She added that it was, however, "practically impossible" to control second appointments.