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A Matter Of Opinion

Wait times for medical care

Wait times for patients in other countries is always mentioned in debates about who has the best health-care system.

But, fundamentally, the comparisons are unfair. U.S. times for those who are covered are compared with another country's times for those who are covered. That means that wait times for 86 percent of the population in the U.S. is compared with 100 percent elsewhere.

Drop coverage to 50 percent of the population and we could decrease our wait times. Is that desirable?

Anyway, what about the other 14 percent, also known as the uninsured? According to this LA Times article, those patients better be patient.

Here's some examples:

Cardiology: Nine months to a year
Dermatology: Six months
Ear, Nose and Throat: Six to nine months
Endocrinology/Nephrology: Six to nine months
Gastroenterology: Six to nine months
Gynecology: Six to nine months
Neurology: Six to nine months
Oncology: Six to nine months
Ophthalmology: Six to nine months
Orthopedics: Six months to a year
Podiatry: Six months to a year
Rheumatology: Six months to a year
Surgery: Nine months to two years
Ultrasound — Abdominal and Vaginal: Six to nine months
Urology: Nine months to a year

Source: Southside Coalition of Community Health Centers, 2005

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