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Explaining Waiting Times Variations for Elective Surgery Across OECD Countries


  • Luigi Siciliani
  • Jeremy Hurst


Waiting times for elective surgery are a significant health policy concern in approximately half of all OECD countries. The main objectives of the OECD Waiting Times project were to: i) review policy initiatives to reduce waiting times in 12 OECD countries; and ii) to investigate the causes of variations in waiting times for non-emergency surgery across countries. The first objective was addressed in an earlier report (Hurst and Siciliani, 2003; OECD Health Working paper, n.6). This report is devoted to the second objective. An interesting feature of OECD countries is that while some countries report significant waiting, others do not. Waiting times are a serious health policy issue in the 12 countries involved in this project (Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom). Waiting times are not recorded administratively in a second group of countries ... Dans près de la moitié des pays de l’OCDE, les délais d’attente pour les interventions chirurgicales non urgentes constituent un important sujet de préoccupation pour les responsables de la politique de la santé. Le projet de l’OCDE sur ce sujet vise principalement les objectifs suivants : i) examiner les initiatives prises par les pouvoirs publics en vue de réduire ces délais d’attente dans douze pays Membres ; ii) rechercher les causes des différences observées d’un pays à l’autre quant à ces délais. Un précédent rapport a été consacré au premier de ces objectifs (Hurst et Siciliani, 2003 ; document de travail de l’OCDE sur la santé, n°6). Le présent document porte sur le second objectif. Il est intéressant de noter que, si certains pays de l’OCDE font état de délais d’attente non négligeables, ce n’est pas le cas pour d’autres. Ces délais posent un épineux problème de fond en matière de santé dans les douze pays qui participent au projet ...

Suggested Citation

  • Luigi Siciliani & Jeremy Hurst, 2003. "Explaining Waiting Times Variations for Elective Surgery Across OECD Countries," OECD Health Working Papers 7, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:elsaad:7-en
    DOI: 10.1787/406746186162

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