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The waiting time indicates the number of days between the booking date and the date of provision of healthcare services. At the time of prescription, the doctor is required to indicate the diagnostic question (which describes the health problem) and the priority class (which defines the times for accessing healthcare services). In February 2019, the latest National Waiting List Government Plan (PNGLA) 2019-2021 was approved which defines the priorities and maximum times for the provision of tests, specialist visits, hospital admissions and surgical interventions by the Health Service .

To find out more visit dedicated page of the Ministry of Health.

Please remember that the Regions, through their own waiting list management plans, can reduce the maximum times established at a national level. For specialist services, there are four temporal priorities envisaged, characterized by the letters U, B, D and P. The doctor will fill in the request and indicate in the "priority of service" field the letter corresponding to the urgency of the service:

  • letter U:"urgent" services to which the user is entitled within 72 hours.Urgent services must be booked within 48 hours from the prescription date, otherwise the urgency indication will expire.
  • letter B:service to be provided in a "short time”no more than 10 daysIt should be used in situations where it is necessary to intervene quickly to avoid the worsening the patient's condition.
  • letter D: "deferrable" services which, if provided in less rapid times, do not jeopardize the patient's health. These are initial diagnosis services, to be provided within 30 or 60 days (depending on if they represent visits or instrumental diagnostic examinations).
  • letter P:“scheduled” visits and exams, not urgent. This is the case of control visits, for which the rule establishes a maximum of 120 days. In the case of services provided on an inpatient basis, the priority classes are different:
  • A - Recovery within 30 days,for cases that can rapidly worsen seriously jeopardizing the patient's health;
  • B - Recovery within 60 days,for cases with intense pain or severe dysfunction, or severe disability but which do not tend to worsen rapidly in becoming emergencies.
  • C - Recovery within 180 days, for cases that present minimal pain, dysfunction or disability, and which do not tend to worsen;
  • D - Recovery within 12 months,for cases without pain, dysfunction or disability.
    The waiting times concerning visits and examinations provided according to the institutional or freelance (ALPI) regime, can be read in a dedicated section in healthcare facilities websites.

Specify the health problem