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The impotence of an oncologist stranded in Madrid: 'It seems that now we doctors are no longer essential'


He runs a clinic with 200 cancer patients and cannot return until October. "I have to be accountable to their relatives, how do I do from Spain?" He says with a mixture of anger and frustration.

Javier Firpo

08/04/2021 12:33

  • Clarí

  • Society

Updated 08/04/2021 12:50

Like so many Argentine hostages of anguish, perplexity and anomie, Verónica Vázquez Balcarce (53) does not know what day she lives on, as a result of the maelstrom and the disappointment of

rescheduling and canceling tickets, a routine "frankly as unbearable as it is mortifying"

, says this medical oncologist, who has been stranded

since July 12

in Madrid, where she went with a certain "desperation" to visit her daughter Camila, who was experiencing "some emotional ups and downs."

Vázquez Balcarce scheduled his trip for June 16, when there were no restrictions, and he

left Ezeiza without signing any affidavit

. "After a year and a half of pandemic,

with a lot of work and a burned head, I had the urge to see my daughter

, who was trying to turn the page and start a new life in Madrid. We finally met, I hoped she had a vacation at work (in a decoration shop) and we went to the Costa Brava for ten days ".

On July 12, on his return from vacation, the train would leave Vázquez Balcarce in Barajas, from where he would take the Iberia flight to Buenos Aires, scheduled for midnight that day.

"On my vacation with my daughter I was unplugged from the Argentine news, but

on the way back I checked emails and saw the one from Iberia with the cancellation of the flight that night

and I was paralyzed, I couldn't believe it, I had a lot of responsibilities fastened for my return to Argentina ".

Verónica Vázquez Balcarce, in the room that her daughter rents in Madrid.

I am in an apartment where 6 young people live and there is only one bathroom.

Director of CEDITRA, a radiation therapy center located in Balvanera, where she has worked for more than twenty years, Vázquez Balcarce

is in charge of 200 cancer patients, many of them life-threatening

. "I have the medical legal responsibility for them, I have to give an account of the day to day to their relatives and my work is complicated thousands of kilometers away. Luckily I can work remotely, although my presence is urgent for them. .

actually, it helps me more to me than patients "


A few days ago he received an email from a superior at the medical center where he works: "I did everything possible to return," was the last sentence of the message.

"It left me choking, because I did not extend the deadline because I wanted to, but because

the Government of my country does not want me to enter Argentina for a measure that does not make any sense

. It is a


that they do not let us enter because we are one threat ... Doing what corresponds, the virus should not be carried away. I move through the city and the province, through Once and Vicente López and La Matanza, and I see the chaos that is, of not believing. "

Verónica Vázquez Balcarce, in full labor, with her fellow radiotherapists at the radiant therapy center where she has been working for more than 20 years.

With her spirits on the floor, listless and without appetite due to the prevailing uncertainty, she says that "I

lost four kilos in twenty days ... almost ten percent of my 45 kilos.

I am tiny, four kilos is a lot, but well, here I am, trying not to cry every day ...

Being in this situation of 'neither', it doesn't make you want to go for a walk, walk or eat,

plus I've been spending thousands of euros in these more than three weeks ".

Like the hundreds of Argentines who are "begging" for an immediate date on some next flight, the medical oncologist called the Iberia call center and after two hours of waiting got a human voice to answer.

"They gave me a date November 1 and I think my reaction was so desperate, trying to explain that I am a doctor and that I have 200 cancer patients, that

by magic a flight appeared for October 7, which is the one I have confirmed to this day


When everything was laughter and happiness.

Here is a photo with her daughter Camila, "before this nightmare came."

With sarcasm, Vázquez Balcarce slides that the doctors

"seem that we stopped being essential and today they do not have abandoned without any kind of consular attention.

It is incredible, the possibility of traveling from Madrid to Montevideo arose and I went to the Uruguayan consulate, which opened the doors but I ruled out the chance, but the consul attended me ... On the other hand,

in the Argentine they treat us as disposable beings, there is not the minimum empathy

, they do not think that we are people with problems, obligations, families. it happens in Argentina and

they throw the ball to each other

: the airlines say that the Government closed the borders and the Government blames the airlines for leaving the agent under the plane. "

This Wednesday, Vázquez Balcarce is traveling to La Coruña, where a well-known family will host him.

"They are Argentine friends who came to Spain in 2001 and they opened their doors for me and I did not hesitate.

Financially I can no longer be in Madrid, neither in a hotel nor in my daughter's room

, where she lives with five more young people with a only bathroom. I am a big person. And it seemed like

a good possibility to find containment

, since in these three weeks the suffering was too much, "describes the doctor, who is married and has another daughter, Delfina (19), waiting anxiously for her.

One more claim.

The last claim of a handful of Argentines at the Argentine Consulate, "that they never attend to us."

He needs to see his patients, "who luckily are well cared for thanks to the fact that tasks could be delegated ... But

never in so many years of work have I been without seeing them for so long and that causes me tremendous guilt

". He pleads that when this governmental provision is finished, on August 6, "a slightly kinder solution will appear. Do you know what hurts the most?

That they trample on our constitutional rights, they do and undo whatever they want



The continuous postponements of her obligations in Buenos Aires have her with creeps in Vázquez Balcarce, who



coordinating an International Mastology Congress for September 6. 

"I am very concerned about my whole situation here. Although it is virtual, it requires significant dedication," says the oncologist, who confesses: "

I started the formalities for the approval of my medical degree. I don't know if I will come to Spain to work, but I felt like I wanted to do it

... Even though I love what I do, I am very disenchanted with my country. "

Look also

"Don't forget about us": the anger and helplessness of Argentines who are still stranded abroad

Source: clarin

All life articles on 2021-08-04

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