A tip for patients in A Coruña to make themselves heard

A tip for patients in A Coruña to make themselves heard
A tip for patients in A Coruña to make themselves heard

Since last June 21st, the health area of ​​A Coruña-Cee account in your Patient Advisory Board with the presence of the Coruña Multiple Sclerosis Association and of Alcoholics Anonymous-Alcoholics in Recovery NorthwestThese bodies exist in all Galician health districts and their objective is to improve the quality of care provided by the services, as well as to inform and advise those responsible for this sector of the administration.

“What we aim to do is improve the quality of life of patients by giving them a voice and their needs, as well as improving the communication of the association and the patients with the sergesexplains Sonia García Erias, president of the Coruña Multiple Sclerosis Association, about the reasons that prompted the group to join the Patient Advisory Council. “What we aim to achieve is to speed up health procedures, both for medical consultations and tests, as well as the administrative procedures necessary to request a disability or dependency, since we understand that this can be achieved through the Advisory Council,” she adds.

“We have joined the Advisory Board so that a little more attention is paid to people who have problems with their drinking, so that when they reach Primary Care, in addition to sending them to the psychologist or psychiatrist, they are also advised to attend talks by people who have had this problem,” says Antonio Vázquez Chouza, president of Alcoholics Anonymous, who believes that, in addition to medical treatment, these patients require “awareness” about their illness.

“When we start drinking we don’t know that we are alcoholics and when people explain to us what it has been like for them, we realise that we are not alone and we start to see things differently,” warns Vázquez, for whom these patients are “very reluctant to agree with the doctor because part of the illness is lying to get alcohol” and they also lie to doctors to get sick by pretending to have a mental illness.

Weak areas

For Sonia García, the treatment of multiple sclerosis “has many weak areas that are not addressed”, for which she remembers that it is a neurodegenerative disease in which, although today the patients “can lead an almost normal life”, she warns that “there are quite serious cases that require speed when it comes to processing the dependency and having constant physiotherapy and not specific sessions so that the disease does not progress”.

Regarding his objectives within the Patient Advisory Council, García mentions “achieving comprehensive treatment for all patients with chronic diseases, not only sclerosis, reducing waiting lists, as well as achieving accessibility and functionality in some centres to raise awareness among the population”. Regarding the first of these, he admits that it is “complicated” to reduce waiting lists, but he points out that “if a chronic patient has another problem, it gets worse, so if the waiting list is long the disease progresses and there is no turning back”, so he considers that this type of patient “should have preference”.

Vázquez Chouza stresses that health care for alcoholism is not specific to these patients, but is provided jointly to all those who suffer from some type of addiction. “We believe that it is an illness from which you never get over it, since it is very easy to stop drinking. The problem is staying sober, because an alcoholic does not stop drinking once he or she starts drinking again,” he points out.

For this reason, Alcoholics Anonymous organises events on dates such as Christmas or St. John’s Day to prevent patients from drinking again, provides 24-hour care and has a residence for those who have lost their home. “Most of the time they relapse because they do not seek the necessary help,” says Vázquez, who defends a protocol in Primary Care to inform those affected about the assistance of entities such as his.

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