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Waiting lists go down in Canary hospitals as onward trend continues 

Health chiefs in the Canary Islands say they are winning the war against waiting lists, both in duration and length, but there is still work to be done.

The surgical waiting list is down by 14.1 per cent and there are 4,049 fewer patients.

The waiting list of more than six months has also been reduced by 40 per cent in 2018, while the average delay decreased by almost one month and one week to 36.8 days.

Health Minister of the Canary Islands Government, José Manuel Baltar said these results place the surgical waiting list at 24,629 and was the result of the effort of SCS workers. Through different measures, they had achieved a decrease in two years of 28 per cent, going from 34,327 patients on the waiting list to the current figure.

He also added that “the current figures, although they have to keep improving, have not been registered since 2011, the year in which the waiting list began to rise until reaching its maximum in 2016.”

The Minister of Health explained that four surgical specialties concentrate 70 per cent of the waiting list: traumatology, ophthalmology, general and digestive surgery and urology. The first three had achieved the greatest reduction, together with otolaryngology.

Both Sr. Baltar and director of the Canary Health Service, Conrado Domínguez said the operating rooms of the public hospitals had been at maximum performance.

“One of the important indicators that shows the behaviour of the waiting list is that of the average delay, which has been reduced by 21 per cent, from 181 days on average in December 2016 to the current 139, that is 42 days less in two years,” he said..

Half of the patients awaiting surgery wait less than 77 days.

The director of the SCS said all the Canary hospitals have managed to reduce the surgical waiting list and highlighted the reduction of the waiting list of more than six months for the three hospitals that achieved the best results: Dr. Negrín with a reduction of 74 per cent, from having 2,515 patients on the waiting list of more than six months in December 2016 to the current 651; the Hospital of La Candelaria in Tenerife with a decrease of 68 per cent of its list of more than six months, the University Hospitable Maternal and Child Hospital Complex with a decrease of 54 per cent and the University Hospital of the Canary Islands with a decrease of 33 per cent..

In addition, although starting from lower numbers on the waiting list, the hospitals of Fuerteventura, La Palma and Molina Orosa of Lanzarote also achieved significant reductions in their waiting list of more than six months, of 97, 90 and 40 per cent, respectively .

Sr. Domínguez said despite the good results, “it is necessary to continue working, evaluating and correcting” for those who have not felt the benefit.