30 d’octubre 2013

Waiting guarantee(d)

International comparisons of waiting times in health care – Limitations and prospects

Waiting times are the natural barrier for access to health care in non-market health systems, where willingness to pay it is not the criteria to allocate resources. Regulators know it and they set up some guarantees, a maximum time for access, otherwise there is a need to find an alternative. While this system may appear an improvement, it may produce some distorsions in incentives.
In my opinion, waiting times should be reviewed on a prioritisation criteria, and may be after some guaranteed should be applied. General guarantees distort the aim of such process.
Anyway, we are still waiting for a regulation on prioritisation of waiting lists. Long time ago was anounced, and long time ago was blocked. There is no reason to delay it indefinitely.
If you want to have a look at international data, read this article and its methodological considerations:
The study shows the need for a more coherent approach to waiting times measurement, if  international comparisons are to be made. Currently, there are wide differences in what  countries measure and how they measure it, were they start the measurements and what measures are presented. Few international comparisons of waiting times have been published and none has solely relied on official national statistics.

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of tone and delicacy of expression.
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