June 4, 2018

BOLIVIA: Oldest Marxist Government-Run Public Hospital In Nation Accused Of Treating 4,000 Cancer Patients With A Radiation Therapy Machine That Staff Knew Was Broken For 18 YEARS.

I could not find this news reported in any English news outlets. I had to translate Spanish news to English to be able to share this scandal with you. Thank God I saved this AFP tweet to share this news so I could track it or else I wouldn't have known myself.

Remember this next time you hear Jimmy Kimmel or other late night comedians, or Marxist Democrats, promote single-payer Universal healthcare. They're rich already so they don't care how Universal healthcare will affect the masses who would be forced to depend on the government for their health care. (emphasis mine)

24 Horas noticias
written by AFP staff
Friday May 25, 2018

Some 4,000 cancer patients underwent paid radiotherapy treatment for more than 15 years with a device that did not work in the oldest public center in La Paz, in a fraud that scandalizes Bolivia .

"We have been cheated," said the Association of People with Cancer, Family and Volunteers, after confirming this week the best kept secret of the Radiotherapy Unit of the Hospital de Clínicas: cancer patients paid for the use of a "simulator" that did not work

"The simulator is to see exactly where the tumor is, to locate the tumor, and can then do a better job with the cobalt therapy teams," the association's president, Rosario Calle, told AFP.

The amounts paid for the use of the device ranged between 1,200 and 4,000 Bolivianos (170 and 570 dollars), depending on the sessions.

The group of patients does not have data on the people who died as a result of this fraud, but hopes that a thorough investigation will shed light on the network assembled by hospital staff that serves the poorest.

"We knew through the media that there are unfortunately reports of irregular charges for equipment that has not been used," said Freddy Valle, director of the Departmental Health Service, on which the Hospital de Clínicas depends.

Although he promised to investigate, Valle clarified that there will be no immediate results because the events happened a long time ago.

The prosecution, with the support of the police, intervened this week the Radiotherapy Unit and ordered the arrest of a dozen paramedics and technicians.

The public prosecutor Edwin Blanco accuses them of breach of duties, misuse of public service goods and crimes against public health since many patients, without state health insurance, were transferred from the private sector to this public hospital to receive treatment.

María, a cancer patient, confirmed to the private television channel ATB that she was caught by a private doctor, who detected the disease and charged her for treatment at the hospital, since she lacks public insurance.

For the Minister of Health, Ariana Campero, patients "can not be victims of abuse, especially economic abuse" even more so when "they are struggling to overcome the disease".

Donated by Argentina at the beginning of the year 2000, the simulator equipment, which is in a kind of deposit, broke down shortly after arriving at the La Paz hospital and never worked again.

Upon hearing that the Radiation Therapy Unit had closed and there was no attention, María Robles, a cancer patient, broke into tears.

"I do not know what we are going to do, we are going to have to die, not to do the treatment, not anymore, what are we going to continue suffering for? The pain is strong, people do not know this," he said. impotent to the AFP.

René Calle, whose wife has cancer of the uterus, is also resigned. "The attention was suspended, unfortunately the ladies decline" in their health, he declared.

More than 40 patients expect attention every day, although the number could double, as more and more patients arrive from the Chemotherapy Unit.

In Bolivia there are about 18,000 cancer patients, according to the aforementioned patient association.

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