The head of Oncology at the Torrevieja Hospital, Juan Carlos Toral, has accused the hospital unions, CCOO and UGT, of generating “social alarm”, following their statements on Wednesday, indicating that women, from the diagnosis of a lump on their breast, now have to wait up to 6 months before they are called by the hospital for a mammogram.

The said that their claims are completely unjustified, “and that they are quoting from information that they have not verified.”

According to union delegates, Esteban Rives (UGT) and Fran García (Commissions), the waiting list for the first radiological study, following the detection of a breast anomaly, is about 5 or 6 months, “half a year, from the time the patient detects a lump and contacts her family doctor, until she has her first mammogram.

The unions are claiming that there has been a change in protocol , as “until recently the patient was summoned for a mammogram immediately, following which she was assessed by a radiologist on site”, and if it was felt to be necessary, ultrasound and a biopsy were performed. Thus, the diagnosis was often obtained in a single day.

However, the Ministry of Health has denied this delay and has accused the unions, who received detailed information about the procedures on Wednesday, of causing “significant social alarm”, because they are referring to mammography appointments that “are not urgent”.

Dr. Torol said that the procedures, which were introduced in the Department fifteen years ago, continue to remain unchanged. “The protocol has not changed,” he insisted, “I think the unions are completely mistaken in their understanding, because they do not know what the breast cancer procedure is.”