Grenada loses nearly 2,000 medical appointments a day amid waiting list crisis

How many times in the past few months, if not a year, have you complained that there are no medical appointments available when you need them, or that they set a date for you that is too late? The system fails with the problem of eternal waiting lists, but it is no less true that the absenteeism figures are also quite shocking. In Grenada, an average of 1,856.6 people a day stop attending their medical appointments, either in primary care or in outpatient consultations, according to data provided to this newspaper by the Ministry of Health. In total, 677,664 medical appointments were missed across the province during 2023, without informing patients that they were not going to make room for another patient.

This figure comes from the sum of unobserved appointments in family medicine and outpatient consultations, 332,073 on the one hand and 345,591 on the other. This shows that every day 909.78 people do not attend their commitment to their health centers without canceling it through the established channels, while a few more, 946.82 go to the province’s reference hospitals for consultation with physicians of each specialty. Stop going. In total, 1,856.6 people every day decide to stop going to medicine to find out what is happening to them.

The root of the problem is not defined. If it is a result of waiting lists, when appointments are assigned that are not made because a health problem has already arisen due to a delay of several days, if it is rudeness on the part of patients who request unnecessary appointments. and then do not cancel them, or if the citizen is simply unaware that if they are not going to see a doctor they must cancel the appointment so that someone else can take their place. In any case, if this was done then the problem of waiting list would be greatly reduced. According to the latest public data from the Ministry of Health, up to June 2023, 84,884 Grenada residents were waiting for their first appointment with a specialist. That’s in just six months. Over the year, 345,591 people did not attend their outpatient appointments without knowing whether they had previously had a consultation or check-up. A very important difference.

This situation is not new in Grenada. In fact, the percentage of absence in appointments for consultations with specialists has increased by 2.07% in the last four years with the same figures as in 2019. If the number of people who did not appear for their appointment that year was 338,588, then the previous year. 345,591. This figure is well below the Andalusian average, which is 9.56%, well above the situation in Seville, Cádiz and Huelva, where absenteeism rates have been much higher than in the previous four years, all above 20%. , first about 30 (27.6%).

primary care

Regarding family medicine, a total of 4,781,976 Grenadians made an appointment to receive primary care at their respective health center or office during the year 2023, of which 332,073 were unreported. The percentage of absenteeism among appointments not attended due to patient absence is 6.94%. It is not one of the worst in Andalusia.

Overall, the community could lose a total of 2.8 million primary care appointments in 2023. The difference in absenteeism between provinces remains within the Andalusian average, which is 7.15%. Cádiz leads the way, accounting for more than 8%, and Huelva, which remains below 6%. That is, in Cádiz health centers, 672,567 consultations were scheduled last year, with 47,104 patients missing; And in Huelva province there were 138,730 appointments that Huelva residents missed at their health centers, with 2,462,567 appointments scheduled. Grenada is in fifth place.

The Andalusian administration of the region has also provided data by health districts, where it emerges that it is the southern district, which includes the areas of Costa Tropical and Alpujarra, where the majority of people decide not to attend their doctor’s appointments . Despite the .header already being closed, and they don’t even communicate it. Of the 702,823 appointments assigned, 54,389 did not attend, representing an absence rate almost one point higher than the provincial average (7.74%). This is followed by the Granada District, which includes the capital and three neighboring municipalities, where the average absenteeism is 7.03%: 88,043 out of a total of 1,251,923 appointments were not attended. Below the provincial average are the Northeast and metropolitan districts, where 6.71% of summonses are ignored due to shortages. In the first, 41,115 people did not appear (out of 613,014 notices) and in the largest in the province, 148,526 out of a total of 2,214,216 assignees failed to meet their commitments.

malleable data

With all this said, the totals represent almost deplorable figures. Adding absences to primary and outpatient consultations, 677,664 medical appointments are missed per year in Grenada, or more than half a million. Seville very clearly leads the way and stands out for its indecency, which causes 1,326,955 medical appointments to be ‘hanged’ per year. They are followed by Málaga (987,353) and Cadiz (864,072), while below Granada are Córdoba (554,571), Jaén (514,414), Almería (416,317) and Huelva (283,054). Overall, Andalusians stop to seek medical advice 5,624,400 times a year. Of them, 2.8 million are in primaries. Grenada contributes 12.04% of that total.

How to cancel an appointment

For all these reasons, the Ministry of Health has called for responsibility so that the proper functioning of health care is everyone’s concern. He did so this week with a message through his social networks asking citizens to cancel medical appointments that will ultimately not be used. “If you are not going to keep your appointment, cancel it. Another patient will appreciate it. Remember, tomorrow you may be the one who needs that appointment,” says the letter published on the social network. ” x,

However, the Andalusian Health Service (SAS) has announced that work is already underway on the adaptation to primary care of the AVSAS notification system, which was launched in hospital care last summer and includes, upon user subscription, a message Including sending it from to them. Your mobile phone reminds them of scheduled appointments for consultations or diagnostic tests as the date approaches, notifying them of possible cancellations or changes.

For their part, the same sources remind that there are several options for canceling assigned appointments. Through the Salud Responde application, by calling 955 54 50 69, on the ClicSalud+ website or directly at the health center. In the latter case, the Salud Responde call center (955 54 50 60), once the identity of the interested person is proven, can provide information about pending appointments and carry out the procedures (change of date or cancellation Request to).

If you have used the application, to cancel a visit you simply have to consult the Health Agenda/My Appointments section of ClicSalud+, which shows pending appointments, which appear in chronological order. In this case, a copy of the appointment receipt is provided in PDF, which can be downloaded and printed. Also in this section you can request a change in date and, of course, cancel the appointment.


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