Today we visited the municipality of Tigre, including the Delta Tigre islands. We started the day going on a boat to a primary care center on one of the islands that is free for all people living on the islands. After that, we had a delicious lunch at the Tigre Boat Club, and then we headed to the maternity hospital in Tigre.
Tigre has one of the most extensive primary care systems in all of Argentina. Most provinces and municipalities in Argentina do not have any form of primary care, which has led to overcrowding in hospitals with not enough resources. Tigre is definitely a more wealthy area, which does mean that they have more money to use on primary care centers and specialized hospitals such as the one we toured. Another reason why they may have this network is because of the layout of the islands. The population density among the islands is extremely low, meaning people are spread out and hard to reach. Due to this, having primary care centers within the islands is much simpler than having to go all the way back to the mainland just to get medication for a short-term, non-life threatening illness.
Having primary care networks is so important, and can have major long-term benefits. By having primary care centers, a lot of money can be saved by the government, considering the fact that specialized care is much more expensive than a visit to a family doctor. Additionally, the overall health of the area will improve over time because people can have check-ups. This leads to a more proactive and less reactive approach towards health, leading to less specialized care visits in the future. Having more primary care centers would also mean that the healthcare network is more widespread, increasing accessibility to those who may not be able to get to hospitals easily. Finally, primary care centers increase the amount of jobs available, which could encourage more people to go to college and pursue degrees in medicine, nursing, or social work.
Tomorrow is packed full of fun things like volunteering at a nutrition center and having a tango lesson! Check back to read about it tomorrow.
*Picture shows the adorable dog that was at the primary care center.