Venezuelan doctors refer cancer patients to Cúcuta

September 1, 2018 – 4.20 pm

Photo: Agency

Jonathan Bencomo travels at least once a month, 12 hours straight from Maracaibo, in Venezuela, to the Columbus Park area of ​​Cucuta to receive cancer medicine from his mother, Libya Matheus, who was diagnosed five months ago.

The family members of the patients ensure that the Venezuelan oncologists send specialists directly to Cúcuta for the purchase of the medicines, because they are in the expensive pharmacies at the Venezuelan Institute of Social Security (Ivss), where they provide free treatments. Nothing has been found .
"It was a wait when there was a miracle that the medicines arrived at social security, or were looking for the money and came to Cúcuta, what's the difference, that my mother has cancer, no simple flu, and that disease is progressing in the body, if it is not attacked in time, and that is what these drugs are meant for, "Bencomo said.

Venezuelan hospitals and clinics prescribe oncology patients for social security, but behind closed doors they pass the mobile phone number and address of the Liga Nortesantandereana de Lucha contra el cáncer.
"Doctors know the reality, but they have to give up the prescription for public pharmacies, where nothing is, because all of this is important, and the Venezuelan state maintains millions of debts at laboratories abroad," explained the marabino while I waited for the Paclitoxel ampoule, which your mother needs.

The complaint about the lack of medicines can not be made public by the specialists, assure the relatives of the patients arriving in the city. "The person who denounces this is removed from his job," he says.

The reality of Bencomo is the same as that of the Deilys Hernández family, in Caracas, 853 kilometers from Cúcuta. Since last year began a premium with the treatment against breast cancer.

While the rest of the Venezuelans hit hard the exchange rate difference. "There are 12 ampoules of Docetaxel, which apply a full year every 21 days, and collecting the money to buy them always costs a lot, because for those who earn in pesos it is very little, but for those in Venezuela live and earn in Bolivars, it is Beautiful money, "he said.

The risks that these Venezuelans face in order to save their family life are very high. Along the way they ensure that the weights or dollars are stored in unimaginable places.

"At the last toll, before we arrived in San Cristóbal, the guards wanted to take away the pesos I had to buy the medicine, and although I repeatedly explained to him that it was for my mother who had cancer, her only answer was: I do not know what it is to have a mother, because he died when I was four years old, and I do not care, "he said.
María Inés Celis, from the anticancer competition of Cucuta, explained that the foundation receives these people to help them as much as possible, because the competition is one of the institutions where these drugs are obtained at a lower price.

They receive an average of 40 people per day and have indicated that they only sell three cycles of treatments. "This is so that they do not spend too much money, because these cycles are generally changed," says Nieves Arias, pharmacy manager.

He indicated that they need medication for all types of cancer, and that they need the medical report and the specialist's files in which the medication prescribed by the patient is specified.

The conclusion

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