Today was our last full day in Buenos Aires, Argentina. We presented our final projects, which was very nerve-racking, but I think we did well. I was scared that I would blank and forget everything I wanted to say, but I think I said everything I wanted to, so I am proud of myself.
We learned so much on this trip. From the main structure of Argentina’s healthcare system to the tiny unions that exist throughout the country, we know it all. There are three main sectors of the healthcare system: private, public, and obras sociales, which is similar to social security. My group’s presentation was on the Ministry of Health, which oversees all three sectors. Additionally, the Ministry of Health funds the public sector, and has specific programs and agencies to help regulate and control the healthcare system in Argentina. There are three levels of the Ministry of Health: the national, provincial, and local levels. I think the provincial governments have the most power because each province has the right to make their own decisions after hearing the recommendations from the National Ministry of Health.
One major takeaway I learned from this trip is the lack of primary care in Argentina, and how much more funding goes toward the hospitals over primary care. Many physicians choose to specialize, which has caused a lack of general practice doctors. This is a major concern because hospital beds may be taken by patients who might just need ambulatory care.
I learned a lot about the culture of Argentina as well. Dinner time here is usually between 9:00 and 10:00 pm! This was crazy to me, but it is just the way of life here in Argentina. I got to try mate, which is a traditional tea people drink all the time here. I thought it was okay. It was very strong and not sweet enough for my liking, but I am sure I could get used to it if I drank it as much as the Argentinians do. I can also confirm that it is true that Argentinians are habitually late. Most of the days we were behind schedule, but we were flexible and made it work.
I am so grateful for this trip. I made some awesome friends, and I am so excited to keep in touch with my new friends over summer, and hopefully meet up on campus in the fall. I think it is cool that I now have friends who are business majors, just because I feel like everyone I know is a nursing major. This trip has been a great way to expand my circle at Pitt and gain further connections within the School of Nursing, and I am forever grateful for that. Shoutout to Elise for being the best roommate, Grant for being a great professor and influence, Lynnea for all of her help and organization of the trip, and the entire Plus3 Argentina group. I had so much fun, and thank you all for a great experience that I will never forget. Until next time!