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Waiting Time for Specialist Consultation in Tehran
*Afsoon Aeenparast1, Faranak Farzadi2, Farzaneh Maftoon3,
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 Authors' affiliation: 1,2,3Health Services Management Research Group, Mother and Child Health Research Center, Iranian Institute for Health Sciences Research, ACECR, Tehran, Iran.

•Corresponding author and reprints: Afsoon Aeenparast PhD, No. 23, Nazari St. Felestin St., PO Box: 13145-1756, Tehran, Iran. Tel: +98-21-66480804, Fax: +98-21-66480805, E-mail:

Accepted for publication: 14 August 2012



 BACKGROUND: Waiting time is an important indicator of patient satisfaction and the quality of care. The aim of this study is to determine the waiting time in physician offices in Tehran, Iran.  

METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study. The target population of this study consisted of specialist and subspecialist offices in Tehran. We used a census sampling method to study the population. Data of 5475 physicians was extracted from data banks, of which 43.4% were not accessible. Thus 3098 cases were included and analyzed. We conducted telephone interviews to gather data, which was subsequently analyzed using SPSS software.
RESULTS: Out of the 3098 physicians interviewed, 2585 were specialists (83.4%); the remaining were subspecialists. The mean waiting time for a patient's first visit to a specialist was 4.30 days (SD = 8.10) and for subspecialists it was 7.61 days (SD = 13.98).
DISCUSSION: The average waiting time in our study was less than a week for specialists and almost a week for subspecialists. The health system in Iran has not established a complete referral system and with this situation, waiting time may have adverse effects on the health of patients. Thus studying and managing waiting time in some medical specialties or regions is a priority in our country.

Archives of Iranian Medicine,Vol. 15, No. 12, December 2012, -
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