14ymedio, Havana, 26 November 2023 — Urologist Aldo Luis Zamora Varona denounced the “injustice” against six of his colleagues who the authorities charged with “negligence” two years ago when they “tried to save the life” of an accident victim in the Carlos Manuel de Céspedes General Hospital, in Bayamo, but did not succeed. They are Rafael José Sánchez Vázquez, Yoandra Quesada Labrada, Elizabeth Silvera, William Pérez Ramírez, Henrry Rosales Pompa and Ristian Solano.
Meanwhile, the exiled doctor Alexander Jesús Figueredo Izaguirre, who highlighted the arbitrariness against his colleagues, announced that no sentence has yet been handed down against the doctors for whom the Prosecutor’s Office is requesting sentences of 2 and 3 years in prison. However, “they are being treated like criminals, they are being harassed, they are not allowed to leave their homes.” This Saturday, he detailed that the evidence presented by Bayamo Public Health was “refuted,” so “it will be at least 15 business days until the sentence is given.”
Meanwhile Zamora Varona blamed the Cuban Government, the local authorities and the provincial Health Directorate for making the doctors work in “the worst conditions ever seen, even in the poorest country in the world.” He stressed that they use them and then put them in prison. “They are not able to recognize that they are the only ones to blame for these deaths.
The evidence presented by Bayamo Public Health was “refuted,” so “it will be at least 15 business days until the sentence is given.”
Zamora Varona, a renowned specialist with experience in medical missions in Africa and Ecuador, said that on the day of the events, the shortcomings in the hospital were evident when a nurse named Yaquelín, who attended a patient who died in surgery, came out to ask him to “find” a probe because “there is not even that in the hospital,” since the man needed it. He gave her the one that he had. Minutes later, the same nurse came out asking for a urology specialist, because when she placed the probe, “blood came out in large quantities mixed with urine.”
Upon noticing that it was an emergency, Zamora Varona entered the surgery room and verified that it was a “kidney trauma” and that “the left kidney was split in half.” Upon verifying that the contralateral kidney was in perfect condition, he immediately proceeded to extract the damaged kidney, but then “a storm” began: “There were no clamps suitable for clamping the kidney vessels, there was no such instrument on the surgical tray,” he denounced.
The doctor had to use a kelly clamp. “Any urologist who is reading this knows that it is nonsense. But to make the removal of the kidney that compromised the life of the young patient much more difficult, there was not even a (non-reabsorbable) suture in the room to ligate the renal pedicle and I had “I had to send them to search through papers and other things that I brought in a small folder that I used to use and there they found a single suture of that type.”
If he had not acted at that moment, the patient, the urologist indicated, “would surely have died in the operating room due to lack of the supplies essential to save lives.” The specialist demanded freedom for the six doctors. “They are innocent and I ask that the true culprits be prosecuted.”
The specialist stressed that given the shortages in hospitals, relatives of patients have had to look for missing supplies on the black market, spending up to 40,000 pesos to obtain them.
The patient’s mother works in the Bayamo Prosecutor’s Office and “is the one who has placed the most emphasis on proving that it was due to medical negligence,” exiled doctor Alexander Jesús Figueredo Izaguirre said on his social networks. He identified Lainis Briscuyet, a law firm official, as the person in charge of “moving the pieces in the dictatorship’s legal system to put the six doctors in prison.”
The patient’s mother works in the Bayamo Prosecutor’s Office and “It is the one that has placed the most emphasis on proving that it was due to medical negligence,” exiled doctor Alexander Jesús Figueredo Izaguirre said on his social networks
During an episode of the State TV Roundtable program at the end of October, the First Deputy Minister of Public Health, Tania Margarita Cruz Hernández, and the Deputy Minister for Medical Assistance, Reinol García Moreiro, admitted that “there are problems with diagnostic means such as ultrasounds, x-rays and endoscopies,” and that consultations and surgeries have fallen, but that “in Cuba no health service is going to be closed to the people.”
“The country is going through a complex financial situation, which undoubtedly has a negative impact on the Health system, which is reflected today in medical assistance, with deficits in a group of material resources for the processes. This issue is the center of attention of the Ministry of Public Health,” said Cruz Hernández.
Manuel, a health worker from Havana, confirmed to 14ymedio that nearly 400 doctors’ offices in the capital are without family doctors.
Meanwhile, a gynecologist stated that AFB tests are not being performed to detect active tuberculosis, there are no reagents to diagnose cases of syphilis, nor benzathine penicillin, which is the medication usually used to treat this disease, which is very dangerous if not are kept under control. In addition, early diagnosis tests for cervical cancer, which were routinely performed from the age of 25, are suspended in the capital and other provinces.
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