Health Minister, Bent Høie, said hospital queue waiting periods are now, on average, 61 days. That is 29 days shorter than in 2002, but the Arbeiderpartiet (Labor) is critical of the way the Minister of Health has calculated the waiting period.
Høie claims hospital queues are now ‘historically short’, and that he is the first minister of health who can show a hospital waiting period of under 65 days, reported NRK news.
Preliminary figures show an average of 61 days to receive treatment at a Norwegian hospital in 2016.
‘It is gratifying to see that we probably exited 2016 with historically low waiting periods for hospital treatment’, said Høie to NRK news.
According to the Health and Care Directorate (Helse og Omsorgsdirektoratet), the waiting period was 90 days in 2002, 69 days in 2015, and in 2016 it fell by a further eight days to 61.
The Health Political spokesman of Ap, Torgeir Micaelsen, countered that the figures do not show how long patients have waited after they had their first consultation at the hospital.
‘It provides little value to patients to come more quickly to an initial consultation if only to be put in a new, internal queue, without receiving the medical treatment they require’ said Micaelsen.
Høie said he is ‘sure’ that the queues have actually been shorter, and have not only been moved, though statistics proving this were not forthcoming.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today