The willingness to pay for wait reduction: the disutility of queues for cataract surgery in Canada, Denmark, and Spain

J Health Econ. 2000 Mar;19(2):219-30. doi: 10.1016/s0167-6296(99)00024-7.


We estimate demand curves for a one month reduction in waiting time for cataract surgery based on survey data collected in 1992 in Manitoba, Barcelona, and Denmark. Patients answered, "Would you be willing to pay [Bid, B] to reduce your waiting time for cataract surgery to less than one month?" Controlling for SES and visual status, Barcelonan patients have greater WTP for shortened waiting time than the Danes and Manitobans. We estimate the value (in 1992 $) of lost consumer surplus due to the cataract surgery queue at $128 per patient in Manitoba, $160 in Denmark, and $243 in Barcelona.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Canada
  • Cataract Extraction* / economics
  • Denmark
  • Elective Surgical Procedures* / economics
  • Female
  • Financing, Personal*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Spain
  • Waiting Lists*