How long does it take to get an appointment with healthcare professionals in Puy-de-Dôme

How long does it take to get an appointment with healthcare professionals in Puy-de-Dôme
How long does it take to get an appointment with healthcare professionals in Puy-de-Dôme

A new statistical study offers an unprecedented overview of the delays in granting appointments to ten health professions. Delays which would be less alarmist than the feelings of patients captured in previous studies.

This is an unprecedented panorama of access to community medicine, in France and at the departmental level. With the support and analysis of the Jean-Jaurès Foundation, these are new statistics concerning nearly 200 million consultations in France in 2023 and some 75,000 healthcare professionals using Doctolib. Or around 20% of professionals in France. The study reveals several lessons.

1. Shorter deadlines

Regarding the delays in granting appointments, these appear to be more positive and less alarmist on access to care than previous studies on the subject, based more on declarative surveys. In all territories, the statistics collected highlight “the commitment of health professionals to their patients to take charge of a large part of unscheduled care and allow rapid access to care. » This is particularly true for pediatricians and general practitioners, whose activity carried out within 48 hours of making an appointment amounts to 34% and 41% respectively.

Waiting times: how long does it take to get an appointment with a specialist in 2018?

2. Inequalities between territories

Unsurprisingly, the study also highlights territorial difficulties which reflect deeper territorial inequalities already known in France. It is in ophthalmology, dermatology and pediatrics that the differences between departments are the greatest: there is a difference of +90 days between the departments where the deadlines are the fastest and the shortest. For fifteen departments, mainly rural, the median delays are at least twice the national average, for at least three professions.
Puy-de-Dôme is doing quite well. For general practitioners, pediatrics, midwives, masseurs-physiotherapists, psychiatry, waiting times are approximately identical to those nationally. On the other hand, delays are longer for the following professionals: dental surgery (from 15 days to one month, compared to 11 days nationally); gynecologists (1 to 2 months versus 25 days); dermatologists (1 to 2 months versus 36 days).

3. Medical density and delays

Another key lesson: the departmental maps explaining the distribution of deadlines for granting appointments do not necessarily overlap with those of medical demographics.
Longest delays. Nationally, it takes 42 days between making an appointment and consulting a cardiologist (+9 days compared to 2021). In our department, this is the specialty which has the longest appointment time: one to two months at the very least, with between 9 and 13 cardiologists per 100,000 inhabitants. Next comes dermatology with a median delay of 36 days nationally and one to two months here. These specialties nevertheless correspond to those with the lowest density of professionals per 100,000 inhabitants.

4. The issue of telemedicine

As the experts point out, “beyond the provision of care, the issue is also that of the organization of care in the territories: coordination of care, supported work, use of digital tools. It is clear from these statistics that the use of teleconsultation, used as a supporting tool for health professionals for the continuous monitoring of their patients, provides some answers. We observe that on average, the median times for granting appointments are five times faster in teleconsultation compared to all consultations, thus helping to provide flexibility in the organization of the practice. Particularly pronounced use among general practitioners, pediatricians and gynecologists where more than 40% of professionals use teleconsultation via their patient management software.

5. And after?

According to Roman Bornstein, co-director of studies at the Jean-Jaurès Foundation: “This overview of access to care should make it possible to offer citizens, health professionals, health authorities and elected officials a new tool to supply their reflection, inform their decisions, and guide their action. » A first step in in-depth work on the political and social issues of access to care.

The study and maps of access to care can be consulted on the Jean-Jaurès Foundation website.

Michele Gardette
[email protected]

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