Excessive waiting times for non-emergency surgery are a major source of public dissatisfaction and hence a major health policy problem in many OECD countries.
The OECD carried out a project to investigate and compare across selected OECD countries :
Initially, existing data was assembled, where available, on waiting times and surgery rates across countries.
The project started in 2001 and lasted for two years. Two working papers were released:
A Health Working "Paper Tackling Excessive Waiting Times for Elective Surgery: A Comparison of Policies in Twelve OECD Countries" (OECD Health Working Paper N°6) (with Annex 1 and Annex 2 was published in July 2003.Stage 2 of the project investigated the causes of variations in waiting times. A Health Working Paper "Explaining Times Variations for Elective Surgery across OECD Countries" was also released.