- (written as Waiting List)A list of people waiting, usually for an out-patient examination by a hospital doctor or for admission to hospital as an in-patient. Lists, and the times people spend on them, are often treated as though they were a rationing device, akin to a price. However, the length of the queue is a poor indicator of this 'price', since it is the length of time spent waiting that is more likely to be significant. There are crucial differences between waiting times and conventional queues, of which two are that first, although a 'price' of sorts is paid by the patients, it is not received by anyone and so has no (conventional) incentivizing effect on providers; second, the time spent queuing involves postponement of possible benefit rather than any current opportunity cost of time, that is, the queuing itself does not reduce the many alternative things one could be doing with one's time, since one doesn't 'stand in line' though any disabling effects of an illness of course may do this.
- noun a list of people waiting for something such as an interview or a job
- noun a list of people waiting for admission to hospital usually for treatment of non-urgent disorders
- noun a list of people waiting to see someone or do something