Specialist at Son Espases Hospital, Palma.

Specialist at Son Espases Hospital, Palma. archive photo.

27-07-2021Ultima Hora

The number of patients waiting for a first consultation with a specialist in the Balearic Islands has increased by 40% from two and a half months to 40 days.

Around 51,914 people were expecting to see a specialist for the first time in June, compared to 37,117 a year ago.

"Waiting lists for external consultations have increased in recent months," admitted IB-Salut. “The increase in Primary Care, face-to-face appointments has generated more referrals to specialists, some new and others delayed or accumulated during the pandemic.”

Although the number of patients waiting for an appointment has increased, the average time they have to wait has been reduced from two and a half months in June 2021, to 40 days.

Around 9,785 people have been waiting more than 60 days to see a specialist, which is the maximum time that anyone should wait. To avoid excessive delays the Government approved the Delay Guarantee Decree by which a patient can insist they be seen and the Administration must respond.

The Decree has been suspended during the pandemic, but IB-Salut Care Director, Eugenia Carandell, has said that if someone needs to be seen faster, they would try to find a way to make it happen.

Operations

12,856 patients are waiting for an operation, which is 6.4% more than a year ago when there were 12,083, but the average waiting time has been reduced by 10%, from 139.8 days to 124.6.

"It is the result of a significant effort by Healthcare Professionals after the fourth wave and intensive work has been done on the surgical activation plan, to increase regular activity and perform extraordinary activity in all hospitals,” said Carandell. “Since last summer, referrals to San Juan de Dios and the Red Cross have intensified and in Ibiza, Red Cross professionals have been providing support for surgical activity.

For a year and a half the Covid-19 pandemic has been a priority, but between waves attempts have been made to cut hospital waiting times for consultations and interventions.

Many plans and little room for manoeuvre have led to delays and the IB-Salut transparency website has been inactive since last December, but it was finally updated in June and the figures are better than a year ago.

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