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Hospital Waiting Lists in Catalonia Grow 23 pct in 1 Year

Source: El Pais - Fri 7th Oct 2011

Waiting lists for operations at Hospitals in Catalonia have now surpassed levels lst seen in 2004, according to the latest statistics.

Since the Catalan nationalist CiU bloc assumed power a little under a year ago, waiting lists have increased by 23%, now standing at 69,967 people. On December 31, that figure was 56,670.

The Catalan Health Minister gave the figures whilst introducing a new IT system specifically to manage waiting lists, intended to offset the impact of spending cuts, which has seen healthcare costs slashed by up to one billion euros - 10% of the total budget.

Up until last year, when the CiU assumed power, the region used the same system as the rest of Spain, which has been criticized by the Health Ministry for obscuring the real length of waiting times. Catalonia guarantees patients a maximum wait of six months.

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