On the first anniversary since the rescue of all 33 miners, controversy has emerged over the effectiveness of the healthcare protocol carried during the last 12 months, particularly after the news that miner Edison Peña was going to rehab to treat his drug and alcohol addictions.

Alberto Iturra, the rescue mission’s chief psychologist, says his team couldn’t help some situations occurring after the rescue. “A struggle began on getting exclusive interviews from the media, not allowing the miners to spend more time with their families,” he explained.

According to the specialist, “only a few days after their return to the surface, there was an explosive excess of partying and drinking for them, losing all possible control. They didn’t even have the time to rest in hospital.”

“We would have done it in a different way; I will probably retake some of them as patients,” he said.

 

On the other hand, Alejandro Pino, manager of the Chilean Safety Association (ACHS) at Copiapó, made it clear that he did everything that he could to get the best results on their programme.

“Medical issues such as alcoholism are common in society, but not necessarily is a psychological consequence of the accident,” he said. “In truth, their psychological behavior was much better than we expected anyway,” he concluded.

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