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Want to see a specialist? You may have to wait even longer than before

The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare says queues for care have grown nationwide in the past year.

Image: Elli Sormunen / Yle
Yle News

Waiting times to see specialists are longer now in nearly all of the country's hospital districts compared to last year, the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) said on Friday.

The public health authority said that at the end of August some 150,000 patients were waiting to see a specialist for non-urgent reasons, an increase of 12,000 people from the year before.

Of those waiting for appointments, 14 percent—or 20,000 patients—had been in line for more than six months.

The THL said queues had especially grown for those waiting to see ear, nose and throat doctors as well as eye specialists.

The national health institute has blamed the pandemic for the increasingly long waits for specialised medical care.

"During the pandemic there's been a steady lengthening of non-urgent queues to see specialists," THL Development Manager Pia Tuominen said in a statement, adding that the share of those waiting for more than six months has grown.

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