Healthcare Wait Times by Country

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Table

Introduction

Healthcare wait times can vary greatly from country to country and even within countries. For example, in the United States, the average wait time for a primary care physician is roughly 20 minutes, with about 28% of patients being able to meet with a doctor within the day, while specialty care wait times can be as long as several weeks or even months. In Canada, patients may wait up to 10 weeks to see a specialist in some provinces. In the UK, the NHS reported that in April 2019 the median waiting time for outpatient appointments was 3.3 weeks, with the longest waits being more than 5 months. In Australia, medical specialists make up only 25% of all clinicians, which has resulted in longer appointment wait times. On average, Australians wait around 6-7 weeks for specialist appointments. But it’s not just doctors’ visits that have long wait times – elective surgeries often require many months of waiting. The average length of time a patient in Canada waits for an elective surgery is 18-19 weeks, while those in England may experience waits of up to 18 months or more depending on region and specialty. These differences demonstrate just how varied healthcare wait times are from one country to another and between types of doctor or surgery.

#CountryHealthcare Waiting TimesHealth ScoreCare System Score
1Canada33%78.471.3
2United States of America28%73.972.7
3Sweden24%82.183.1
4Norway22%8482.2
5United Kingdom21%78.877.7
6New Zealand17%79.773.4
7Australia14%80.275.2
8France14%80.580.4
9Germany13%81.181.1
10Netherlands13%82.277.3
11Switzerland12%81.582.4

Healthcare Waiting Times by Country

Australia

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Healthcare Waiting Times

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14%

Ranked in the World

#7

80.2

Ranked in the World

#22

Care System Score

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75.2

Ranked in the World

#21

Canada

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Healthcare Waiting Times

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33%

Ranked in the World

#1

78.4

Ranked in the World

#33

Care System Score

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71.3

Ranked in the World

#35

France

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Healthcare Waiting Times

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14%

Ranked in the World

#8

80.5

Ranked in the World

#20

Care System Score

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80.4

Ranked in the World

#9

Germany

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Healthcare Waiting Times

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13%

Ranked in the World

#9

81.1

Ranked in the World

#16

Care System Score

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81.1

Ranked in the World

#6

Netherlands

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Healthcare Waiting Times

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13%

Ranked in the World

#10

82.2

Ranked in the World

#9

Care System Score

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77.3

Ranked in the World

#15

New Zealand

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Healthcare Waiting Times

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17%

Ranked in the World

#6

79.7

Ranked in the World

#24

Care System Score

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73.4

Ranked in the World

#29

Norway

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Healthcare Waiting Times

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22%

Ranked in the World

#4

Ranked in the World

#4

Care System Score

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82.2

Ranked in the World

#5

Sweden

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Healthcare Waiting Times

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24%

Ranked in the World

#3

82.1

Ranked in the World

#10

Care System Score

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83.1

Ranked in the World

#3

Switzerland

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Healthcare Waiting Times

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12%

Ranked in the World

#11

81.5

Ranked in the World

#13

Care System Score

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82.4

Ranked in the World

#4

United Kingdom

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Healthcare Waiting Times

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21%

Ranked in the World

#5

78.8

Ranked in the World

#31

Care System Score

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77.7

Ranked in the World

#12

United States of America

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Healthcare Waiting Times

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28%

Ranked in the World

#2

73.9

Ranked in the World

#69

Care System Score

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72.7

Ranked in the World

#30

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