«No one informed us of the delay of the Maternal. We are dislocated »

José Jerez, president of the Little Brave Foundation for Children with Cancer, yesterday at the entity's headquarters. / COVER

The president of the Little Brave Foundation for Children with Cancer, José Jerez, only knows that the hospital should have already been expanded and that patients and their families will suffer a new delay

Carmen Delia Aranda

The
Little Brave Foundation of Children with Cancer has been very involved in the expansion project of the Maternal and Child Hospital. For this reason, its president, José Jerez, finds it difficult to accept the delay in the work due to a bureaucratic error and, above all, that they have not given him an explanation.

- Were you very surprised by the new delay in the expansion of the Materno Infantil?

- Yes, yes, I was very surprised because we have been working on this issue for many years. We were the first to be at the foot of the canyon. Even with public and private funds, at the initiative of Pequeno Valiente, with the former Government, the oncohematology unit of the Materno Infantil was reformed. He was given a face lift in the hope that the tower would become a reality. And the truth surprised us. We have been insisting on the networks for a long time to do it. We had a break in the pandemic. We understood that it was not the time to put pressure because there was a problem worldwide. We trusted the words of the Government of the Canary Islands, the Ministry of Health and the Presidency that it was going to be done, but having seen what we had seen... We found out about the latest delay in the press. No one has told me that there was an error in the process of awarding the work. We are saddened by this delay because those who are harmed are the children and their families. Not only cancer patients, we are talking about the entire Maternal; of women who give birth and other pathologies that are there. Little Brave's complaint is not about the financing or the project, but about the slowness, about the failures they have had and that force them to start over. Times are ticking and the sooner you start, the sooner you finish. And we found out by surprise from the press, when they called us to see the project. They have not called us at all and this has been known since the end of July. This leaves us confused.

- Have you been so involved in the Little Brave project?

- They called us to a table next to the families where they talked about the reform. We saw the project. It is wonderful. There is nothing to object to. It is very good but the problem with the project is that it is not done. They told us that they were going to bid and that the work was going to start. That, from the previous Government and now with this Government, the same. I don't know if bureaucracy is like that. The only thing I know is that the maternal tower has to be done. Needless to say how it is. The canaries who have passed through there know the conditions in which that hospital is. It has nothing to do with the good professionals there. They have the tools they have and they work as best they can. It seems to us that it should be speeded up quickly because, right now, there being many needs in the Canary Islands Health Service, I think that the most important thing is that this Maternity Hospital be reformed, because it is the oldest hospital in the Canary Islands and nothing has been done in 40 years. Annex buildings have been made, but what is the Materno has not been reformed.

- You have witnessed the deterioration of the building.

- Not just witnesses. When they were newborns, they asked us for help because their parents slept on the landing of the elevators. With the help of Ikea Canarias and Pequeno Valiente we reformed that. Then they asked us for help for the fifth floor, the hospitalization of children with pre and postoperative; We made a respite room for it and vinyled the corridors. In infectious we covered a corridor and we put a television, a microwave, armchairs... We did things, as far as we could. We do not have funds or permission to reform the entire Maternal. Since they come to ask us for help, if we can, we help.

- In addition, they made a small reform in Oncohematology.

- All the rooms and corridors were vinyled. A respite room was built for parents with a kitchen, a games room, new beds and cribs. The day hospital was covered with vinyl and a waiting room was built. An office was made for NGOs with funds from Pequeno Valiente. That was done about six years ago with funds from the previous government while waiting for the tower.

- They have started a mobilization campaign. Do they miss the support of society?

- Civil society is supporting us, more and more every day. A campaign starts and it has to be effervescent to achieve something. The female murgas of Las Palmas are beginning to support us. The bearers of Carmen, companies such as AM/FM, the councils of Gran Canaria, La Palma, Tenerife and Fuerteventura or the municipalities of Santa Lucía, Yaiza, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and La Oliva support us. We want more to join. What we ask is that it be expedited as soon as possible and that they are above this project so that it does not have any more errors. In the end, I repeat, those who are harmed are the children and the families and not only from oncohematology, but from all the pathologies that go to the Maternal and women who give birth. We all know how the hospital is and it needs to be reformed; not now, but ten years ago. And now, that we have given a reasonable amount of time and a vote of confidence, we will see each other again at the starting line. We are disappointed.

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