The waiting time before obtaining an appointment with a specialist can be an obstacle preventing access to care in a timely manner.
This section includes a specific indicator, the waiting time before seeing a specialist (A-9), which is a self-reported indicator derived from the Sciensano National Health Interview Survey.
Another indicator on the waiting time before a first face-to-face contact in an outpatient mental health facility (MH-3) is analysed in the Mental Healthcare section.
This indicator measures the proportion of appointment requests with a specialist for which the waiting time was more than two weeks. This is a ‘patient experience’ indicator which was part of the questions raised during the National Health Interview Survey conducted by Sciensano.
- Within the interviewed population, 48% reported that they had to wait more than 15 days to meet a specialist.
- There were no major differences between the regions in 2018 (38% in 2013).
- Waiting time was considered to be a problem by 13.5% of the interviewed people in 2018.