The reality of the Ministry of Health

The Argentinian government is a federal system that is a confederation made up of provinces that are almost self-governing but are overseen by the federal government. There are 23 provinces and one “autonomous district” where Buenos Aires is.  These provinces have the authority to make most decisions for themselves regarding their departments, which are then divided into municipalities. The city of Buenos Aires is considered its own province and is instead divided into districts, that the city government also has the authority to make decisions. They use ministries for decision-making regarding the finance, security, social development, health, education, labor, agriculture and various other aspects of society. This system has a major advantage, as each province would ideally make the best decisions regarding its own welfare as they would have the best knowledge to do so. However, the system does have disadvantages when it comes to fragmentation, as having this many divisions tends to create disconnect in various systems. This kind of fragmentation causes many problems as standards and regulations now vary from province to province; some may have higher or lower standards for various institutions that could potentially cause problems for its citizens. This seems similar to the government system of the United States as both state governments and the federal government have the authority to make various decisions, but the federal government has significantly more authority in the US in comparison to Argentina as it has the power to make national regulations.

The federal system has a Ministry of Health that theoretically provides regulations but in reality, these provinces hold the majority of the power. Instead, the Ministry’s authority is reduced to simply making suggestions and attempting to incentivize the provinces to listen to them. This could also create problems regarding various standards in the medical field, including the upkeep of public hospitals and community health centers, and prescriptions. However, as a result of this fragmentation there is a national regulator called ANMAT that attempts to provide some sort of national standardization for issues regarding drugs, food and medicine. Their system overall is fragmented but their national government exists to provide oversight.

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