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Spain probes death of woman refused medical help

VALENCIA, Spain, April 26 (UPI) —

Officials in Spain said they were investigating the death of a woman in Valencia who allegedly had been refused medical care five times in five days.

The woman, a Bolivian national identified as Soledad, was found dead in the doorway of her home in February. Multiple organizations called for the investigation into her death amid reports she was turned away for treatment for a persistent cough, possibly in part because of racism, thinkSpain reported Thursday.

Soledad had initially gone to a local clinic Feb. 15 but allegedly was denied treatment after being told her state healthcare card was invalid, the news website said. Two days later, she was seen by staff at a local hospital but allegedly was told there was nothing urgently wrong and advised to see her general practitioner. She failed to obtain treatment despite three more stops at healthcare facilities and follow-up phone calls by her husband, thinkSpain said.

On Feb. 20, the husband was rebuffed when he called for an ambulance to take his wife to a hospital and asked a friend for help. The friend also called for an ambulance but allegedly was refused so he called police. Officers who showed up at the home called for an ambulance but it was 2 more hours before paramedics arrive and by then the woman was dead, thinkSpain said.

The cause of the woman’s death had yet to be determined. Investigations were to be conducted to determine whether there had been negligence on the part of medical staff at the various facilities, thinkSpain said.

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