Supervisory Board of the Health Insurance Fund approves changes in maximum length of time of waiting lists for medical care

Today, the Supervisory Board of the Health Insurance Fund extended the maximum time on waiting lists for outpatient specialised medical care to six weeks compared to the former four weeks. The changes in the maximum length of waiting lists for medical care are caused by the number of treatment cases that remain on the level of 2008, while at the same time the demand for health services is expected to increase continuously.

“Each year, we have increased the number of treatment cases by 4% on average,” said Hannes Danilov, Chairman of the Management Board of the Health Insurance Fund. “The population of Estonia is ageing, and in relation thereto the demand for health care services continues to increase. The whole of Europe is facing the same problem,” he explained. “This year, we cannot increase the number of treatment cases because of the intense budget; but the demand will probably increase, and, therefore, we are forced to extend the time of waiting lists for medical care,” added Danilov.
 
The maximum length of time on waiting lists for medical care was increased only with regard to outpatient specialised medical care (visits to medical specialists). The length of the waiting lists for planned inpatient care was not extended; the length of these waiting lists remained on the former level of 8 months. The maximum length of time on waiting lists for fertility treatment and day care (procedures for which the patient does not have to spend more than 6 hours in the hospital, e.g. tonsillectomy) remains also on the level of 8 months. The maximum length of time on waiting lists for endoprosthetic replacement of joints, eye cataract operations, etc. will also remain at the same level.
 
The length of time on waiting lists will also remain the same in regard to family physicians: a person with acute illness must be seen by a family physician on the same day; in other cases, the time span is within three working days.
 
With best regards,
 
Evelin Koppel
Public Relations Manager
Estonian Health Insurance Fund
+ 372 6 208 439; 534 789 49
evelin.koppel [at] haigekassa.ee