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Madrid suspends breast-screening treatment

Source: El Pais - Fri 11th Oct 2013
Madrid suspends breast-screening treatment

Deputy regional health chief Patricia Flores confirmed Wednesday that since March 30,000 women in Madrid have not been screened for breast cancer due to a "change in the type of contract" between the authorities and private clinics. Flores stated that those affected would be seen "before the end of the year" and said that the delay should not be considered "alarming" as "these are healthy women who can postpone screening a few months because they are not at risk."

The Socialist opposition immediately called on Popular Party (PP) Health Minister Ana Mato to open an investigation into the "serious health consequences" that could arise from the backlog, describing it as "one of the most serious situations in the public health system in years."

The Madrid regional government is run by the PP, which has seen its plans to privatize six hospitals and other health services run into opposition from the sector's workforce and in the courts. The move to put the hospitals under private management is currently legally suspended.

"There may be women who have been denied an early cancer diagnosis, with the consequences that could entail" said Socialist spokesman José Martínez Olmos.