The Finnish health institute faults the epidemic for extended hanging about for expert care.
The waiting persons increased to more than six months for expert care by nearly a fifth in the first half of this year, according to the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).
End of April, 150,000 people waited for non-critical remedial care for a longer duration1. 13,000 had been waiting for more than six months, and the number had risen since late 2021.
North Savo hospital district in eastern Finland had the longest wait times early this year. Kymenlaakso, in the southeast, had the shortest wait times. South Karelia had the fewest long-waiting patients.
All Finnish hospital districts saw longer wait times in the first half of 2018. Mental health services for kids are behind.
The number of people waiting for treatment was correlated to the surge in Covid cases during early 2022, according to THL Development Manager Pia Tuominen. “Transferring nurses to deal with the pandemic slowed spring backlog efforts,” Tuominen said.
Tuominen noted that the number of people awaiting treatment rose in some sectors, including children’s mental health. A survey published the day before found that students needed these services more last school year.
End of April, THL said more than 11,000 people were waiting for cataract surgery. More than a third had waited more than three months for surgery.
Tuominen said that during the pandemic, fewer people sought treatment for non-Covid-related conditions. Referrals for specialist care reflect this.
“Despite fewer referrals, more people are waiting for emergency care. This means clearing the care backlog will be slow “said.