Waiting times at Erasmus MC
We update the waiting times every month, between the 1st and 10th of every month. These times are estimates, which means that the actual waiting time may differ, depending on the circumstances and your condition and wishes. The specialist will decide on the basis of the letter of referral how quickly you need to be treated. Our prime focus is on patients requiring specialist care at a university hospital, as these patients cannot be treated by local hospitals. Obviously, patients who need emergency care receive it straightaway. This is one of the reasons why no rights may be derived from published waiting times.
There are a number of treatments for which we are required by the Dutch Healthcare Authority to publish ‘throughput times’. The throughput time is the time between the patient’s first visit and the date on which treatment starts. In other words, it is an estimate of the waiting time until treatment starts. The actual throughput time may differ depending on the specific circumstances, the patient’s condition and his or her wishes.
If you feel that the waiting time is too long, you can either get in touch with us or ask your health insurance company to mediate. Your health insurance company may be able to arrange for you to be treated more quickly. Healthcare-providers and health insurance companies have agreed on a ‘maximum socially acceptable waiting time’, which is four weeks for an outpatient clinic appointment and diagnostics, and seven weeks for treatment.
Background information and definitions
Hospitals are obliged by law to publish their waiting times. To this end, the Dutch Healthcare Authority has published a set of ‘Regulations on the obligatory publication of waiting times for somatic care’.
Waiting time for an outpatient clinic appointment
The ‘waiting time for an outpatient clinic appointment’ is defined as the amount of time between the date on which a patient was referred by a GP or a specialist at another hospital and the date of the patient’s first visit to one of our outpatient clinics. The ‘waiting time for an outpatient clinic appointment’ depends on the number of days that pass before we are able to see a patient who has been referred to us from elsewhere.
Waiting time for treatment (throughput time)
The Dutch Healthcare Authority has selected a number of treatments for which hospitals are required to publish throughput times. The throughput time is defined as the amount of time that passes between the start of a healthcare process and the date on which treatment starts. In order to make this calculation, various data are extracted from the hospital’s database. The figure presented is the median waiting time during the past three months.