Rivers Are Roads

Another early morning with Plus3 Argentina! We left our accommodations at 7:40 en route to Tigre, a municipal of Argentina outside of Buenos Aires. Upon our arrival, we hopped on a boat and took a half hour ride to Puesto Sanitario Delta, a primary care center available to the surrounding community. There, we had a chance to learn a bit more about the purpose and importance of primary care in the municipality’s system. Later, our group made the trip back across the river to take a tour of Hospital Municipal Infantil de Tigre, a public hospital that provides care for women and children.

What’s interesting about Tigre’s public health care system is how prominent and well-developed its primary care is compared to other municipalities throughout Argentina. This can be explained through Tigre’s population, which is dispersed throughout its many different islands. For a community on the mainland where most people live within walking distance of each other, having one hospital makes sense. However, in Tigre, where the river serves as a road and community members are much more spread out amongst the land, one hospital is simply not an efficient way to provide healthcare to citizens in need. Therefore, various primary care centers throughout Tigre make getting basic care much easier, and long trips to a central hospital less necessary and common.

In Tigre, where 80% of healthcare provided is primary, these centers are the most efficient for the community. Additionally helpful is the municipality’s wealth, which contributes to their ability to keep various primary care centers open and running for the public. For other municipalities that may be facing greater levels of poverty, one hospital may be all that a region can afford to provide its citizens.

Overall, what I learned today was that public healthcare systems in Argentina really depend on the location. While public care can be very well-developed and efficient for a municipality such as Tigre, it can also be much less advanced depending on the region and how much money it has to put towards the community’s hospitals and primary care centers.

After a long day in Tigre, our group was treated to ice cream back in Recoleta by our trip’s professor (thank you, Grant!). It was a nice ending to a fun and educational day. Looking forward to tomorrow, talk soon!

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