The number of emergency department visits and booked appointments in specialist medical care increased.

The number of emergency clinic visits for specialist medical care (265 861) increased by 1.6% on the previous year. In 2021, our hospitals logged an average of 728 emergency department visits for specialist medical care per day. 

There were 2.33 million booked appointments in all. This represented an increase on the previous year and nearly reached the 2019 level, falling short by only about 7,850 visits. 

One in five appointments are online

Remote appointments account for about 20% of all visits, including somatic medicine eConsultations and specialist psychiatry remote appointments.

Development and piloting of digital services, which forms part of our strategy, continued in 2021. Although eConsultations in somatic specialties decreased by one fourth on 2020 on the whole, several specialties have seen these activities increasing and becoming well established. 

In 2021, the number of eConsultations declined the most in those somatic specialties where the patient must be physically present e.g. for an appointment before a procedure. Use of online services has held steady or increased for instance in oncology, obstetrics, pulmonary diseases and genetic counseling.

In Psychiatry, online services began to grow even before the coronavirus pandemic. In adult and adolescent psychiatry, the number of these visits has grown the most in the age group of 28 to 32 compared to 2020.