Today on Day 9 of our trip we travelled to the Tigre Municipality, where we took a boat to a primary care center that also served as a community center. Our day started when we took a 45 minutes ride from our residence to El Tigre and then took a boat ride to the island that the center resided on. Upon arrival to the center, we were introduced to some of the faculty and had around an hour-long discussion about the function of the center for the surrounding population.
During our visit to the island we were able to talk to one of the staff members who told us all about the services that the center provides. The biggest difference that we learned about the center was how well designed it was, in comparison to other systems in the region. The biggest factor that contributes to the success of the Tigre primary care center is the money that they are provided, as the area is relatively wealthy in comparison to some others, but even more so the need for advanced services due to the limited access to the hospitals on the mainland. As explained to us while on the island, it is common for people with more serious injuries or who have an appointment, to go to the public hospitals on mainland. However, because the center is on an island the distance from the mainland makes it that much more important that the people have access to the care that they need in order to stay healthy.
Other Argentinian systems that compare to this primary health center often rely on the public hospital systems because they are free to access and often have the help that they need. But, this means that the primary health centers are not as frequently visited when they could serve a lot of the needs the people have. This would not be as much of a problem if it did not cause overcrowding in some public hospitals. While we did learn today that the Tigre health center may serve 1 person per hour instead of the 4 or 5 per hour that other systems have, the center is essential to provide the people with all the care that they need on the island. Especially because of its location, Tigre has been able to develop their system to support their population in different ways then other community centers. One example of a service that the people are provided with is a boat car center that travels to different parts of the island to ensure that the people are receiving the necessary services. The Tigre care center has become well adapted to the conditions of the island even in situations that we saw today such as frequent power outages that they combat using the water straight from the water that flows next to the center.
Compared to a system focusing on hospitals, Tigre has developed specialized services to guarantee that the care available to the people is sufficient. Because the access to public hospitals is not as convenient it is essential that they are able to provide not only basic car but also access to social workers, and services such as odontology.
After our trip to the island to learn about what they offer their patients, we had lunch at the TBC, stopped for a quick trip to the market, and finally toured Tigre’s infant and maternity hospital.
View from the boat