Countries with highest surgery waiting times
In contrast, South and Central America scores the lowest overall, with four out of the top five situated in this continent; and Mexico and Argentina also placing in the bottom 10.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, Peru is officially the country with the longest surgical waiting times, due to several different factors.
Not only does it have the fifth least doctors available, at just 16.46 per 10,000 people, but it also has the fifth least hospital beds (15.91 per 10,000 people), and the fourth least number of nurses (26.13 per 10,000 people); meaning naturally, people are waiting longer for appointments and surgery compared to countries that have more medical staff.
Unfortunately, because of this, Peru has the joint highest negative social media sentiment, with 100% of posts about healthcare negative. That’s in addition to the third worst opinions on wait times, with 81% of the population saying they’ve had to wait too long to get an appointment.
With the second least number of nurses per 10,000 people, at just 14.49, and the third highest percentages of negative social media sentiment, at 80%, Colombia has the second worst surgical waiting times in the world.
Despite this, the World Health Organization has voted Colombia’s healthcare system as the 22nd most efficient in the world (above both the US and Australia).5
Whilst health insurance is compulsory and practically all citizens in the bigger cities of Bogota and Medellin are covered, unfortunately, in more rural areas, access to healthcare isn’t as easy, which could be why it scores so poorly on our list.
Chile comes in third place for long surgery wait times, with the longest waiting time for surgery, at a staggering 221.3 days (however, with many countries not providing this data, it’s hard to know if Chile is actually the worst).
The country also has the joint highest negative social media sentiment, with 100% of posts around healthcare bad.
The healthcare system in Chile is a combination of public and private, with public healthcare typically focusing on medical treatment, and private services for secondary services, such as dermatology and cardiology.6
Whilst Brazil doesn’t rank the worst for any of the factors we analysed, its consistently low scoring has meant that overall, it’s placed fourth for the longest surgical wait times.
78% of the population believe that wait times are too long for appointments, and just 42.5% are satisfied with the responsiveness they’ve received.
Not only that, but Brazil is on the lower end of the spectrum when it comes to the number of hospital beds and doctors, at just 20.87 and 21.42 respectively.
Coming in fifth on our list and worst in Europe, is Poland. With an average wait time for surgery standing at 176.3 days, it’s the second longest in the world, and 81% of people agree that waiting times for appointments are too long.
Not only that, but the country also has the third least satisfaction with responsiveness in medical institutions, at 36.4%.
Whilst these countries scored the worst overall for waiting times, if we look at factors individually, we get a bigger picture. For instance, whilst India scores 23rd overall, it has the least number of hospital beds in the world, at just 5.3 per 100,000 people.
Indonesia ranks 24th, yet has the least number of doctors and nurses per 10,000 people, at 6.95 and 11.16 respectively; with India and South Africa having the second and third least number of doctors.
When it comes to social media, France and Ireland have the least positive social media sentiment, with just 4.35% and 6.38% posts around healthcare good.
As Lana Hambilton, Head of Health Insurance at Compare the Market states: “We all know that healthcare isn’t equal across countries; and whilst you may come from a place that offers free or subsidised healthcare, you could still be facing long wait times depending on the state of the industry.”
“That’s why it’s so important to take out private health insurance. In Australia, having a private health insurance hospital policy gives you freedom of choice when it comes to your health: you could avoid long public waiting lists, and even choose your own available doctor – which can give you peace of mind if you have a health issue that requires attention as a hospital inpatient.”
Alternatively, you may want to take a look at extras only cover, which can be used towards out-of-hospital care, such as dental and optical appointments, physiotherapy, and much more.