Several charities have chipped in to help Sarah get functional prosthetics. / SUR

The long road to improving the prosthetics available on the Spanish health service

The father of a Marbella quadruple amputee calls for a faster update to the false limbs available through the public health service

JOAQUINA DUEÑAS Marbella

It was back in October 2018 that the family of Sarah Almagro, the young Marbella woman who lost her hands and feet to sepsis as a teenager, visited the Orto Medical Care fair in Madrid. There they discovered the huge difference between the prosthetics their quadruple amputee daughter had access to via the public health service and the ones available on the market.

"We saw that what Sarah got is a wooden foot and a clamp for a hand while in the fair we saw what she could really be getting," said Ismael Almagro, Sarah's father. That was when the family's mission to obtain an updated, public health orthoprosthetic catalogue began.

Over half a dozen certified faxes sent to both regional and national governments, numerous emails, letters, phone calls and meetings. All of that has brought them to the current situation, where the deadline to present arguments against the national and regional orthoprosthetic catalogues is now closed. From now on, Ismael wants there to be a final push in this long, administrative process for which amputees could access more functional prosthetics.

"In June this year I received a letter from the National Health System's technical director, Patricia Lacruz, who informed me of the intention of publishing, as soon as possible, the new orthoprosthetic catalogue that takes into account upper and lower limb prosthetics, and said that it had been delayed because of Covid-19," he explained.

"Hopefully there are no more delays and the publication of the national and regional bulletins speeds up," said Sarah's father, following confirmation in 2020 that there were funds in both budgets allocated to these new prosthetics, which were to come into effect in 2021.

To achieve this, Ismael sent faxes to both Spanish president Pedro Sánchez and Andalusian government head Juanma Moreno, insisting the need to "speed up and finalise details for the publication of the national and regional catalogues" for them to come into force.