Heart patients not processed fast enough in Copenhagen area, critics say

Despite the best intentions and legislation on waiting lists, heart patients are still waiting too long for treatment

A new report from the health authority Sundhedsstyrelsen has revealed serious deficiencies in the way patients with heart conditions are treated.

Almost every fifth heart patient was either not processed or had not received a plan for their future treatment within the 30 days required by law, TV2 Nyheder reports.

The worst problem was in the Copenhagen area Region Hovedstaden, where only 60 percent of cases were cleared in the first quarter. That had fallen to 37 percent in the second quarter.

“It’s just not good enough. We must live up to the legally prescribed criteria and options there are for treating people quickly,” said Sophie Hæstorp Andersen, the chairperson of the Copenhagen regional council.

Computer problems and more
One of the stumbling blocks appears to be the new computer system Sundhedsplatformen, which continues to have teething troubles.

READ ALSO: Computer system could kill rather than cure, doctors warn

However Kim Høgh, the head of Hjerteforeningen, the heart patients association, thinks there are a lot of other contributory issues such as operations being cancelled and long waiting times.

“This is not okay and something has to be done about it,” he said.

Anne Ehrenreich, a regional councillor for Venstre, agrees.

“We can’t just sit back and let things continue. This is a matter of life or death for people with heart problems,” she said.

“However, we’ve not been officially appraised of these figures, so we can’t step in politically. It’s up to the management of the Copenhagen region to investigate why the health service can’t live up to the legally-defined guarantees on waiting times, even though they have been given the necessary resources.”