Family of woman who died of cancer after ‘three months without face-to-face appointment’ denounce health authority

The family of a woman who died of cancer after ‘three months without a face-to-face appointment’ have denounced the health authority in Spain’s Burgos.

Sonia Sainz-Maza, 48, died on August 13, from colon cancer “without receiving the help she needed”, claim her loved ones, adding she is another victim of the pandemic.

Sonia’s sister, Lydia Sainz-Maza, told Spanish newspaper, El Correo de Burgos, that “the family doctor in Espinosa de los Monteros, Burgos, did not give her a face-to-face appointment for three months”.

She added that “when she (Sonia) was given her diagnosis, it was “too late”.

“We have lost our health rights,” said Lydia, explaining that during the months before her death, Sonia repeatedly contacted her family doctor, “referring to severe pain and weight loss”.

The first call was reportedly made on April 17, after Sonia began experiencing pain in her leg and had apparently lost seven kilos “very quickly”.

“Her doctor never considered seeing her in consultation or examining her. He did not send her for an analysis,” said Sonia’s devastated sister.

In June, Sonia had an appointment in Traumatology at the University Hospital of Burgos, to look into a lower back pain. She was referred and given a further appointment for March 2021.

The pain continued and Sonia made various trips to emergency wards.

On one occasion, her sister claims she was diagnosed with “hamstring tendiditis” and in another, “low back pain”.

In July, Sonia contacted her family doctor and insisted tests be carried out.

On July 13, having been told she was suffering from anaemia, Sonia was admitted to Hospital de Cruces in Bilbao. Over the next few days and numerous tests, she was diagnosed with metastatic colon cancer.

Less than three weeks later, Sonia died “due to various complications as a result of her serious condition”

Now, her family are questioning whether Sonia was another victim of coronavirus since they “blame the pandemic for the poor health care received.”

“By telephone you cannot appreciate the deterioration of people or their suffering and you cannot make an accurate diagnosis. Telephone assistance is unacceptable and immoral”, Lydia told the same publication, adding that it is unaccaptable that “in the middle of September, more than six months after the pandemic was declared, this type of medical attention is maintained.

“There are other diseases and we are going to die from them if they don’t treat us,” said Lydia.

The family has filed complaints about patient care and sought the help of a lawyer to pursue a case against the health service.

As yet, there has been no response from the Primary Care Service.

Thank you for reading this article “Family of a woman who died of cancer after ‘three months without face-to-face appointment’ sues health authority”.

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Written by

Tara Rippin

Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.

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