Visits to the doctor costs society billions

Two women at the doctor. The waiting room.Two women at the doctor. The waiting room..Photo: Frank May / NTB scanpix

Traveling to and waiting at the doctor costs society and the individual both time and money, calculations shows that the time lost amounts to a loss of profits that amounts to almost 5 billion a year if all the time lost for all of the employees visiting the doctor is put together, says researcher.

A calculation which was recently published in the renowned medical journal JAMA, reveals that, on average a consultation with the doctor takes 121 minutes, the newspaper Dagsavisen. Out of these 121 minutes, 37 minutes are spent on  travelling to the doctor, 20 minutes on the consultation itself and 64 minutes on waiting for the doctor, registration and other activities not already mentioned.
Researcher Berit Bringedal by  the Medical Research Institute believes the numbers can be applied to Norwegian conditions. She presents a calculation in which the total time cost of surgery visits in Norway is 19 million hours a year:
– With an average hourly wage in Norway of 280 million, the total travel and waiting time cost will be upwards of 5 billion – if it is calculated into the profits lost,  Bringedal says Dagsavisen.
She points to a better utilization of technology and packet stream practices for cancer treatment as measures to reduce the time spent in visits to the doctor. She also believes that much can be achieved with more efficient logistics.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today