Lack of medicines, lack of hospital care, as well as cancellation and delay in appointments, are the main problems facing cancer patients in Mexico in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, organizations denounced on Wednesday.
During the inauguration of the third National Congress of Patients Together Against Cancer, representatives of cancer patients in Mexico exposed the effects that covid-19 has left in these patients.
“Derived from the health emergency, cancer patients face challenges in accessing cancer services”, complained Mayra Galindo, president of the National Cancer Network.
Although the activist acknowledged the severity of the coronavirus crisis, which resulted in more than 93,000 deaths in Mexico and exceeds 943,000 infections, he stressed that cancer, a leading cause of death in the country, “do not wait”.
PROBLEMS ALL OVER THE COUNTRY
Berenice Carbajal, director of the Gist foundation in the northern state of Nuevo León, denounced that patients served by the institution, mainly affected by gastrointestinal cancers, have suffered a shortage of drugs in recent months.
“We have been able to realize the great impact of covid-19 in patients with comorbidities and cancer,” he said.
He stressed that on many occasions hospitals do not have medicines and patients are forced to buy them themselves, “But they don’t know where to buy it, there is no room to get it.”
Meanwhile, Sixto García, representative of the Corazón Rosa foundation in the southern state of Oaxaca, pointed out that in that entity the situation “she is complicated”.
“Cancer patients are not treated in hospitals because they claim that these are converted to covids, and in many cases this is not the case“, He has declared.
He indicated that they had to refer patients to private oncologists, but this delays treatment, which puts people’s lives at risk.
Claudia Figueroa, director of the Amecat foundation, which cares for patients with head, neck and thyroid cancer, assured that patients suffer from anxiety and fear of going to hospital due to covid.
In addition, he said, the pandemic has caused many surgeries, particularly the thyroid gland. have been canceled or postponed.
Furthermore, institutions such as the Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS) radioactive iodine treatments have been delayed, essential after thyroid surgery.
“Patients face a lack of follow-up, they also suffer from depression and anxiety because they have canceled appointments, reschedule the surgeries. The IMSS continues to be outdated, even though surgery is starting to resume, but what these people are experiencing is very complicated, “he complained.
ASK FOR CLARITY
On behalf of the 65 organizations that make up the Together Against Cancer alliance, Mayra Galindo urged health authorities to establish clear rules on the care of cancer patients in Mexico.
“In the transformation of the health system we need more clarity. We want to know what the treatment will be like for people with cancer. We cannot leave any doubts“, He has declared.
He also encouraged patients to raise their voices and, as a first step, to report shortages of medicines in the platform cerodesabasto.org, which seeks to map drug shortages by state, not only in the public service but also in the private one.
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