Cancer, Diabetes, Stroke, Health System Under Pressure

Canary Islands

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The pandemic has not only claimed the lives of more than a thousand people on the islands since March 2020, but it is also affecting the quality of life of thousands of chronic patients and delaying early diagnosis of all kinds of ailments. “We are very aware that the current situation of the pandemic has collapsed the health system. But although this is the acute process, we are tremendously concerned about all the patients awaiting evaluation who are going to have or are already having a diagnostic delay in their processes. or the treatments are not being adjusted properly, which will surely lead to a gloomy prognosis and without a doubt a higher morbidity and mortality, ”warns the general secretary of the Las Palmas College of Physicians, Marta León. "This whole situation blocks and paralyzes diagnostic tests, operating rooms, admissions for studies, etc., etc. and we will not be able to face it when the incidence of covid begins to drop," he adds.

The sanitary collapse has been denounced by the different professional sectors. Covid-19 urgent treatments mean that non-covid patients do not reach the system. “This collapse is affecting us at the healthcare level with the monitoring" and the wave produced by the omicron creates even more pressure, “this has been ongoing from the beginning of the pandemic”, explains Francisco Javier Darías Yanes, secretary of the Federation of Canary Islands Diabetes Associations (Fadican).

It had improved a little just in the months before omicron, but the new strain has put us back into worrying numbers.

“Primary Care is inaccessible. Everything is for covid. Chronic people are experiencing considerable delays. A diabetic person with a few years of evolution needs important tests such as ophthalmologists, to avoid diabetic retinopathy, but at level 3 and 4 they are suspended. Electrocardiograms, consultations with nephrology... are cancelled, "says Darías Yanes.

“We have come a long way in the fight against cancer, almost 60% of people overcame cancer five years later because they were treated quickly. This is going to take us years back up to 30% of cancer patients are not aware that they have it, "says Fraile.