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21. October 2011, Koblenz

How long are patients waiting for their physician appointment?

Survey of the CGM-GesundheitsMONITOR on appointment arrangements in physicians‘ practices.

Koblenz, October 21, 2011: How fast do new patients get an appointment with the physician? According to the results of the monthly CGM-GesundheitsMONITOR almost half of the physicians (44.8 percent) state being able to offer you an appointment within two working days. 2 of 3 physicians (66.6 percent) see a problem in having patients wait for up to two weeks for an appointment with a specialist. Almost all physicians (95.2 percent) reject the idea of shortening waiting times by imposing fines.

Physicians react fast to appointment requests of new patients. Almost every second medical practitioner (44.8) says he has time for new patients within 2 workdays. One out of four questioned (25.9 percent) manages this within one week whilst every fifth physician (22.5 percent) needs to have “new entries” wait longer.

Short-term appointments with specialists partly problematic
What’s the situation like when arranging appointments with specialists? Two out of three physicians (66.6 percent) affirm that having to wait for an appointment up to two weeks poses serious problems for some patients. A fifth of the physicians (21.6 percent) assume that such problems with appointments can be settled in time. One out of ten (11.4 percent) says that waiting two weeks is generally accepted by the patients.

Imposing fines is not the right way
In order to shorten too long waiting times Federal Minister of Health Daniel Bahr raised the idea of imposing fines. This was fiercely criticized by the medical faculty: Only 1.8 percent back his idea whereas almost all physicians (95.2 percent) consider this arbitrary measure as wrong. Waiting times in practices seldom Emergencies, complications during treatments or employees fallen sick - there are many reasons for appointments being canceled. 62.3 percent of the questioned cannot guarantee a waiting time of not more than half an hour. A third of the physicians (34.4 percent) states that even unexpected events do not derange their schedule: Their patient never need to wait longer than 30 minutes.

The CGM-GesundheitsMONITOR:
The CGM-GesundheitsMONITOR is a joint initiative of CompuGroup Medical, the Medical Tribune and the Rhein-Zeitung. They perform representative monthly surveys of 440 general practitioners with regard to current issues in the healthcare system. You can download free printable graphs and find publications as well as information about the representative survey at

About CompuGroup Medical AG
CompuGroup Medical is one of the leading eHealth companies in the world. Its software products are designed to support all medical and organizational activities in doctors’ offices, pharmacies and hospitals. Its information services for all parties involved in the healthcare system and its web-based personal health records contribute towards safer and more efficient healthcare. CompuGroup Medical’s services are based on a unique customer base of over 385,000 doctors, dentists, hospitals, pharmacies and networks as well as other service providers. With locations in 20 countries and customers in 34 countries worldwide, CompuGroup Medical is the eHealth company with one of the highest coverage among eHealth service providers. Approximately 3,600 highly qualified employees support customers with innovative solutions for the steadily growing demands of the healthcare system.

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CompuGroup Medical AG
Barbara Müller

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