A New York City audit released last week revealed that women seeking mammograms from New York public hospitals have to undergo harmfully long waits. The audit recorded the waiting times at 9 hospitals for the 2009 fiscal year and found that Elmhurst Hospital Center in Queens to have the longest waits for women seeking mammograms. At Elmhurst, some women waited almost five months for routine mammograms and 50 working days for diagnostic mammograms, performed when breast cancer is suspected.
New York City policies recommend that people seeking routine screenings wait no more than two weeks. John Liu, the city comptroller stated, “For years, City policy has emphasized the need for women to get mammograms. Unfortunately, significant shortfalls and lapses at City hospitals have undercut that intent and worse yet placed women in jeopardy.”
The National Cancer Institute recommends that women over the age of 40 receive annual mammograms.