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Revista Argentina de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 1852-8724On-line version ISSN 1853-810X


ITKIN, Boris et al. Self-reported waiting times for medical and radiation cancer treatments and satisfaction with administrative procedures in two public hospitals. Rev. argent. salud pública [online]. 2020, vol.12, pp.2-2.  Epub July 01, 2020. ISSN 1852-8724.


The delay in oncological treatment start may affect treatment efficacy. The objective of this study was to describe the delays in the provision of non-surgical cancer treatments and patient satisfaction with the administrative procedure as well as the relationship with patient educational level and treatment costs in two public hospitals in Buenos Aires and Tucuman.


The study was based on a survey. Patients with an indication of medical or radiation treatment, or relatives in charge of the administrative procedure, were eligible for the study. The primary outcomes were the proportion of subjects with a self-reported time longer than one month from the indication of the treatment until its start and the level of satisfaction with the administrative procedure.


Of the 73 survey participants, 74.3% reported waiting times longer than one month; 47.2% showed some degree of difficulty in understanding the process and 45.2% in its execution; 57.5% had some level of discontent with regard to the attention received during the administrative procedure; the difficulty to complete it was the main factor associated with delays. The probability of non-delivery of a cancer drug was proportional to its cost (p<0.001). No negative impact of patients' low educational level on delays was observed.


Waiting times for cancer treatments were longer than reasonable in the vast majority of cases. The process was accompanied with a high level of discontent. It is necessary to optimize administrative procedures

Keywords : Antineoplastic agents; Treatment delays; Treatment costs; Health care quality assessment.

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