There is currently no full-time gastroenterologist on the island, meaning the Guernsey Health Committee is looking for a provider outside the island to help clear the backlog.
The target time for endoscopies is eight weeks, but in some patients the waiting time has been as long as eighteen months.
Gastroenterology treats problems in the digestive system, including the gallbladder, liver, and pancreas.
Endoscopies and colonoscopies examine the stomach and intestines to diagnose conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, and colon cancer.
Neda Borhani-Chick has had Crohn’s disease for 30 years and waited a year for an endoscopy in Guernsey.
She says: “It’s very frustrating because you just want to be seen and found out because you’re in the pain and the discomfort.
“Every newly diagnosed person has to wait a year to 18 months to see someone, and a few people I know have gone off the island and paid privately because they just can’t wait.”
For the new chair of the specialist group, prioritizing patients according to the priority scale is crucial in order to manage the long waiting list.
Steve Evans says: “There is a very small risk, and it’s difficult to quantify, that we might miss some diagnoses.
“But we are doing our best to reduce the backlog and we understand the stress and anxiety this can cause for patients.”
HSC is still looking for an off-island provider to run endoscopy clinics on weekends to reduce wait times.