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Wait Times
in the United States

Summary:
— Know examples of wait time problems in the United States.
— Read about “Waiting While Caring”, below, and two benefits of the highest interest.


Know this for your information:

Control of wait times BEFORE and AFTER the implementation of our health care for all system (single-payer health care, improved Medicare for All) requires good queue management of resources to have good wait times with the same or fewer resources.


U.S. Wait Time Problems

Improvement Needed in U.S.. The United States has definite need for improvement regarding wait times, as seen in the articles below.
Subject Independent of Single-Payer Wait times is a subject independent of the topic of the United States going to single-payer. Many people, especially those people in engineering and scientific disciplines, can appreciate that wait times are an opportunity for properly managing resources that can lead to better performance at the same or lower cost. Progress on doing that is gradually occurring: probably across the globe, but certainly including the United States (and Canada).
  • Study: Longer Wait Times for Emergency Rooms by Joanne Silberner – NPR Morning Edition 1-15-2008
    • “A new study describes a disturbing trend in hospital emergency rooms: longer wait times even for very sick people. That finding follows a recent report from the Institute of Medicine that described emergency rooms as being at the breaking point.”
  • The Doc’s In, but It’ll Be a While – Business Week 6-22-07 
  • On Health Care Reform: Long Waits are really SiCKO – PNHP1 7-10-07
  • Waiting Times for Care? Try Looking at the U.S. – PNHP 7-05-07
    • Sub-title: Nurses, Doctors Say It’s Time to Debunk the Myths
    • Sub-title: Even Aetna Admits U.S. System ‘Is Not Timely’
  • Do we need private solutions to control queues? – PNHP 1-13-06
    • Hint: The answer is a clear “no!” Read this article and the others above it!
  • Further reading: at www.google.com do a search for this:
    • “wait times” site:www.pnhp.org
    • One of the results you will get is “Queue Management in U.S. Emergency Departments” about how queue management was applied in a California medical center to slash “emergency room waiting times from an average of four to six hours to one to two hours in just two months …”

Waiting While Caring

Two things that patients
want the most and will have:
live longer and save much

AFTER the implementation of Improved Medicare for All …

… Americans will have the peace of mind of knowing that a priority system will have people with the greatest need getting their health care first. Then the United States will save do a much better job at saving people from the pain, suffering and deaths of preventable causes … like other top performing countries have done successfully for years.

That way of managing health care services saves the most lives while minimizing the cost of care for all, which are certainly features of health care that patients like! However, it also means that there sometimes will be moments when a patient(s) must wait while health care professionals are helping other patients have a greater need, such as on a given day.

One might call that “waiting while caring”.


  1. The Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) is a leading organization when it comes to educating citizens about single-payer national health insurance, which is its stated missionback

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