Analysis of factors associated with waiting times for GP appointments in Finnish health centres: a QUALICOPC study

  • Elina Tolvanen (Pirkanmaan sairaanhoitopiiri, Pirkkala Municipal Health Centre) (Creator)
  • Tuomas H. Koskela (University of Tampere) (Creator)
  • Kari J. Mattila (University of Tampere) (Creator)
  • Elise Kosunen (Creator)



Abstract Objective Access to care is a multidimensional concept, considered as a structural aspect of health care quality; it reflects the functioning of a health care organization. The aim of this study was to investigate patientsâ experiences of access to care and to analyse factors associated with waiting times to GP appointments at Finnish health centres. A questionnaire survey was addressed to Finnish GPs within the Quality and Costs of Primary Care in Europe study framework. Two to nine patients per GP completed the questionnaire, altogether 1196. Main outcome measures were waiting times for appointments with GPs and factors associated with waiting times. In addition, patientsâ opinions of access to appointments were analysed. Results Of the 988 patients who had made their appointment in advance, 84.9% considered it easy to secure an appointment, with 51.9% obtaining an appointment within 1Â week. Age and reason for contact were the most significant factors affecting the waiting time. Elderly patients tended to have longer waiting times than younger ones, even when reporting illness as their reason for contact. Thus, waiting times for appointments tend to be prolonged in particular for the elderly and there is room for improvement in the future.
Date made available3 Apr 2018

Field of science, Statistics Finland

  • 3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health

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