Late diagnosis for cancer patient after mail blunder

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The 43-year-old cancer sufferer received her diagnosis late because of a post office blunder. File photo: Monica Arellano-Ongpin/Flickr
11:58 CET+01:00
A 43-year-old woman from the northern Italian city of Treviso waited almost a month for a letter telling her she has cancer because of "staff shortages" at the local post office and a "heavy workload over Christmas".

The mother-of-two was forced to seek help from the police in order to receive the letter, sent by doctors at Castelfranco Veneto hospital on December 27th, the Veneto edition of Corriere reported.

Police then found it among a pile of undelivered mail at the post office in the town of Mareno di Piave.

The blunder has meant the woman, who is now entitled to press charges against the state-owned Poste Italiane, has had to delay vital chemopherapy treatment.

Poste Italiane said in a statement that it “deeply regretted the incident in Mareno di Piave” and extended its “most sincere apologies to the lady for what happened.” The company blamed the busy Christmas period and the “absence of many delivery staff” for the mistake.

Luca Ghaia, the president of Veneto, described the case as a “shameful episode in Veneto”.

“You cannot play with people’s health in this way and let the results of a test pile up among forgotten mail,” he told Corriere.

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He called for an immediate investigation into the matter and for those involved to be held responsible.

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