IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Where does the waiting list begin? A short review of the dynamics and organization of modern waiting lists


  • Rotstein, Dalia L.
  • Alter, David A.


Waiting for medical care is the by-product of system rationing, where demand exceeds supply. In this short report we expand on the conventional concept of the queue, by focusing on the regulation of demand and by incorporating a funnel and spout analogy. Real-world examples are used to illustrate the infancy of funnel or demand-side reform initiatives targeting the queue, and the suggestion is made that policy needs to address the concept of 'waiting' much earlier in the treatment cycle.

Suggested Citation

  • Rotstein, Dalia L. & Alter, David A., 2006. "Where does the waiting list begin? A short review of the dynamics and organization of modern waiting lists," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(12), pages 3157-3160, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:62:y:2006:i:12:p:3157-3160

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Naylor, C. David & Levinton, Carey M. & Wheeler, Susan & Hunter, Linda, 1993. "Queueing for coronary surgery during severe supply-demand mismatch in a Canadian referral centre: A case study of implicit rationing," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 61-67, July.
    2. Siciliani, Luigi & Hurst, Jeremy, 2005. "Tackling excessive waiting times for elective surgery: a comparative analysis of policies in 12 OECD countries," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 201-215, May.
    3. Magnus Tambour, 1997. "The Impact of Health Care Policy Initiatives on Productivity," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 6(1), pages 57-70.
    4. Diderichsen, Finn, 1995. "Market reforms in health care and sustainability of the welfare state: lessons from Sweden," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(1-3), pages 141-153.
    5. Hanning, Marianne, 1996. "Maximum waiting-time guarantee -- an attempt to reduce waiting lists in Sweden," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 17-35, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Creemers, Stefan & Beliƫn, Jeroen & Lambrecht, Marc, 2012. "The optimal allocation of server time slots over different classes of patients," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 219(3), pages 508-521.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:62:y:2006:i:12:p:3157-3160. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.