Over the last couple days, out group has had the chance to visit a few primary healthcare service facilities, and today we were able to do the same. Today we visited one of the primary care centers located in El Tigre, a series of islands connected by rivers that are apart of the wetlands of the Paraná Delta. These islands include about 240km and host around 14,000 people. With all these people separated by rivers and pieces of land, these 14,000 residents do not have quick access to hospitals. Instead, the Tigre area has 23 primary care service facilities scattered around the area.
These areas include not just consultation centers for nurse, but also a optometrist center, odontological center, and psychiatrist center. These facilities are accompanied by a ambulance boat, and two other boats that provide aid. These boats have a physician on call 24/7, social workers, and nurses to help aid people when needed. The area is very difficult to manage because according one of the nurse these people are considered to be living in the wild. She said that many times it is difficult to find out where people live because none of the rivers are labeled, and it is very challenging when people many people around the area live in poverty. As well as many people living in poverty, many of the people in the area are not educated past secondary school.
With an area that is very fractured and poverty stricken, there are many continuous challenges that are posed against the healthcare workers and volunteers of the area. The nurse who was giving us information on the area said that many times tough decisions have to be made simply because of the transportation and access problems of only moving by boat. However, because the area’s specific and unique structure, it has force the Tigre area to have one of the best designed public healthcare systems in the Buenos Aires region.
Because the area cannot build a hospital, the area is scattered with the primary care centers, that are extremely beneficial to the area. Unlike most areas of the region that are hospital based, most people in the Tigre area attend primary care centers which provide the needed care for a community to stay healthy. If someone does have a crazy emergency such as a surgery, then they can be transferred to a hospital on the mainland via boat. However, most times, the primary care center is what is needed which is a huge advantage to the area. Also because the Tigre area has a distinct area and region outreach, the primary care centers have worked together to create a data system for every patient in the area. This allows for proper communication among physicians and medical personnel in the area, which in terms, allows for better patient care do to history on a patient.
Overall because the area is so unique, and uses a set of primary care centers, the area has created a network of medical centers that provide great care to the people in the area. Unlike larger hospitals, these primary care centers are not as crowded and able to consistently provide quality care to its people.