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Do waiting times really matter?
  1. Melissa M Brown
  1. Correspondence to: Melissa M Brown Center for Value-Based Medicine, PO Box 335, Flourtown, PA 19031, USA; mbrown{at}valuebasedmedicine.com

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Shortening the waiting time for cataract surgery improves patients’ quality of life

Mojon-Azzi and Mojon1 have performed a superb analysis (see page 282) which demonstrates that the waiting time for cataract surgery in 10 European countries is influenced primarily by the total expenditure on health (p<0.01). Of note is the fact that public expenditure on health, physician density and acute hospital bed density did not significantly influence waiting times.

Since cataract waiting times differ significantly among countries (p<0.001), a reasonable question to ask is, “do waiting times really make a difference for the average patient?”. Fortunately, a value-based medicine analysis sheds some light on this issue.

Excellent evidence-based data come from the PORT study, in which the average person who underwent cataract surgery had …

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