The number of patients waiting for special treatment for more than half a year increased by almost a fifth in the first half of this year, the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) said on Thursday.
At the end of April, about 150,000 people were waiting for access to emergency care, which is slightly less than in December 2021.
However, about 13,000 of them had been in the queue for more than six months and about one-fifth of the less than 11,000 patients had been in the queue for more than six months.
The longest treatment queues were in the Pohjois-Savo hospital district in Eastern Finland earlier this year.
Median queues increased in the first half of the year in all Finnish hospital districts.
Congestion in child and adolescent mental health services
According to THL’s development manager Pia Tuominenthe number of people waiting for treatment was clearly related to the Covid virus in early 2022.
"Nursing staff were transferred to deal with the pandemic, which slowed down efforts to address the treatment congestion this spring," Tuominen said in a statement.
Tuominen pointed out that the number of people waiting for treatment increased in some areas, including mental health services for children and young people.
A study published the day before showed that students ’need for such services has increased over the past academic year.
According to THL, the number of people waiting for cataract surgery also rose to more than 11,000 by the end of April. More than a third of them had been in line for surgery for more than three months.
On the other hand, Tuominen said that many non-Covid diseases have been treated less frequently during the pandemic for a number of reasons. This is reflected in the number of referrals for specialist care.
"Although the number of referrals has decreased, the number of people waiting for first aid has increased. This shows that relieving congestion is a slow process," he added.
Source: The Nordic Page