Tigre(at) Day

For today’s excursion, our class traveled out to the municipality of Tigre, located north of Buenos Aires. The first facility we visited was a primary care center on an island tucked away between over a half hour of twisting canals and small rivers. What separates Tigre from most other municipalities is that they have been able to create a more primary care centered healthcare system, whereas most provinces and municipalities are hospital oriented. I believe that Tigre has done this almost out of necessity. Most of the homes in Tigre lack easy access to the hospital on the mainland, and some have no access at all, as some families do not have the money to afford a boat. If emergency strikes, lack of access to hospital care has a very increased chance of ending poorly for the patients. Therefore, it is greatly in Tigre’s interest to try and reduce the amount of extreme accidents, or to be able to predict when problems may occur so that they can be prepared. Many of the homes don’t even have normal street addresses because of the rivers, so it is very important that the primary health centers can establish relationships with the citizens of the community and keep a close and watchful eye. In addition to all of these reasons, there simply is not good land to build proper hospital facilities. The natural barriers cause the population density to be extremely low, and the lack of a true city center gives no logical placement for the hospital that would increase access. Another key reason that Tigre has been able to break the trend and create this primary care oriented system is the island’s relatively low income. Primary care is the most cost effective way to maintain the health of a population and can prevent costly surgeries and operations farther down the line. If a health system can monitor patients’ risk factors, things like a surprise heart attack requiring an extensive surgery can possibly be reduced in magnitude or avoided all together. In a situation where hospital access is not easily accessible, this can be the difference between life and death.

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