My battle against Cancer: Spanish NHS among the best in the world…but challenged.

@SarcomasHGUGM @forofer  

On 9th of July 2018 I was told I had cancer (in the form of a sarcoma). As you can guess I will remember this date for the rest of my entire life. When doctors broke the news to me I didn´t know how to react. At the time I shared this “misfortune” with very few people, mostly closed ones so, surely, this will be a surprise for most of you. Thus also the reason for not publishing anything in the past months. My mind was somewhere else.

However, with the help of my friends and family I followed the doctors´ advice, battled it and after long sessions of chemotherapy, radiology and an operation to remove the tumour (or”Alien” as we called it at home) I´m more than happy to say that I am back in business: I am now recovering my normal life and, hopefully, evertyhing will just be a bad dream.

“Sarcomas and Musculoskeletal Tumors” team in the “Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañon” @SarcomasHGUGM

But let me tell you something. This is not about me. This is actually about the wonderful team of doctors, nurses, auxiliars, caretakers and all the staff that we have in the Spanish public health system. In my case it was thanks to the incredible “Sarcomas and Musculoskeletal Tumors team” in the “Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañon” and their respective members at all levels. BIG THANKS to you for your help and support!!!

It puzzles me how they are so professional, knowlegable and caring while there is currently a shortage of support from the goverment. And it is not about the current goverment, it has been happening for a number of years. While a system that has been working so well should be supported as it makes good publich health available to all citizens there are a large number of  not so clean manuavers to make it look bad. Let´s see how this happened.

Everybody wants to be healthy, that is a not brainer, just like everybody wants to have good education for their kids. However, with the rise of economy some years ago the different goverments saw the opportunity of milking a new cow: the private health. So, what did they do? They started to open new private hospitals while in parallel they were making cuts in the publich health. Then the move was easy: as the public hospitals could not cope with the demand, sick people were “transfered” to private institutions as a way to shortage the public waiting list. Result: The same operation, test, etc would cost four times as much as if it was done in the public hospital instead.

Costs of tests and operations. Left: Publich Hospital. Right: Private/semi private institution.

Words of advise: Trust your doctors in the Public Health System and all those in their institutions (nurses, etc). They are wonderful professionals that are battling every day against all odds to ensure we all can benefit from a health system with quality, not only for now but for the future.

Support our Public Health System as you dont know what they may be going through to ensure you get well.

For those wondering, this post is not a political post. I am just concerned about the quality of the national common services. We all can tell how our public health system has been dimissed in favour of the private sector. Again, everybody can do with their money whatever they want as long as their private business does not alter, influence or deteriorate the well running and the quality of the public services. Politicians only see the problems until their next election. Going beyond that point it will just be a matter of making a living after their “public” service is done….if any.

Last but not least: Cancer is a lottery that everybody is playing and can be a “winner”, regardless your way of life. Look after yourselves, check regularly and, at the first doubt or symptom, go and see the doctors. Better safe than sorry!!!


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