It was a long day of educational activities. To start off our day, we went to Austral’s downtown location for the first time. The inside of the building was very well designed and decorative. Our first activity of the day was a lecture from former Ministry of Health member Dr. Guillermo Williams. Dr. Williams spoke to us about Argentina’s federal structure as it pertains to the general government structure and health specifically. A federation is characterized by a federal government overseeing different partially self-governed states or provinces to make them one big group. The United States is a federation of the fifty states and Argentina’s system is set up with provinces. Argentina’s federation is a bit different in that the provinces hold relatively more power than the individual US states do. A federal system like that of the United States and Argentina both benefit from and are challenged by the general structure of the system. One benefit is the organization of power that comes with the federal system. With individual states or provinces, geographical regions can be better organized and have some individual power. Additionally, its better to have a system of many states be a part of one country than many individual countries regarding power of the overall nation. It also is good to have smaller individual states with power so that they can check the federal government and keep it from becoming too powerful. The benefit within the healthcare industry is that different laws can be created for different geographical regions based on specific health problems they face. One of the challenges of this system comes with fragmentation. There are many situations in federations where either the federal government or the individual state governments gain too much power. For example, with regards to the healthcare industry, the Ministry of Health has virtually no power with regards to regulation. All they can do is throw money towards provinces that are working towards the goals that they want them to.
After Dr. Williams’ lecture, we went to lunch for pizza. Then, we returned to Austral for a guest lecture about Argentinian history and culture from Graciela Abarca. I really enjoyed the part of her lesson pertaining to Eva Peron which sparked my interest for our Evita museum visit next week. Then, we went to an immigration museum which was a hotel for immigrants when they first arrived in Argentina. They also had a really cool model boat as pictured in the cover photo that you couldn’t get within a couple feet of without an alarm going off. This museum was very interesting in learning about the different types of people that were coming to Argentina at the same time that people were coming to Ellis Island in the US. Overall, it was a long day and I’m ready for a refreshing weekend of cultural activities.