Spanish Italian       






ABOUT US          

CONTACT US          

GET QUOTE          


International Healthcare in Argentina



Healthcare in Argentina

In Argentina, the country's Health and Social Actions Ministry (MSAS) is made responsible to monitor and regulate the healthcare sector in the country.  In addition to the legislative work, the Ministry is also in charge of evaluating medical options and collating market statistics.

In Argentina, the people here regard Obras Sociales as the closest thing to the Workers Union.  Its major role includes financing and overlooking the health of the workers in the country. Obras Sociales has over 300 chapters and each is responsible for taking care of the healthcare of public servants in every top level.  However, with such number of chapters, it is perhaps natural that Obras Sociales finds it challenging to maintain consistent service level quality and effectiveness across all.  According to a study commissioned by MSAS, as much as three quarters of beneficiaries as well as resources were attributed to just the top 30 chapters.  For that reason, MSAS has come out with Solidarity Redistribution Fund (FSR).  The primary focus of this new fund was to address the imbalance with regards to the beneficiaries aspect of Obras Sociales.  There was also an inherent weakness with the Obras Sociales system as coverage tends to extend to people working in the formal sectors.  Regardless, since the severe financial meltdown in 2001, more and more Argentinians were perceived to be under-cover.  This is primarily caused by the combines the effects of major retrenchment as well as more people found employment within the informal sector.

 The last available figures were dated back to 1999 when a study stated that close to 8.9 million beneficiaries in Argentina were covered by Obras Sociales.

 Private Healthcare in Argentina

 The country boasts of a significant number of small and independent private healthcare providers.  Some of them have formed alliances among themselves, although they are usually small in scale as well as inadequate in facilities.  Market estimates put it that there are some 200 such disjointed networks that provide insurance healthcare to some 2 million Argentines and it is little wonder that the industry faces a huge challenge in making individual insurance cover consistent across the country.  In 2000, a study was commissioned by IRBC and it pointed out that offshore insurance companies have make inroads into the country.  These foreign competitions are represented by not just healthcare players from regional countries (i.e. Latin America region), but also from the United States and Western Europe countries such as Switzerland.  The local government does not make any special provisions for these foreign competitors; just like their local counterparts, these companies are supposed to be guided by the same set of legislation.

 Public Healthcare in Argentina

Argentines who are not covered by private insurance plans or Obras Sociales can rely on the public system.  It is especially handy when one involves in an emergency medical situation.  The same IRBC report mentioned earlier also indicated that the country's public healthcare sector suffers from major structural flaws.  Some of the problems pointed out by the report are: lack of competent management, in efficient deployment of manpower, administrative power is split along the line of provincials, poor commutations across the organization, less than optimal use of information system to automate processes and aid decision making, uninspiring incentive programs, lack of fund for critical equipment and facilities up keeping, plus a host of really fundamental problems which would not otherwise be associated with an organization this size.

Within this public system, healthcare (it invariably includes also primary care) is administered from local townships.  The healthcare responsibility was handed down from the provincial level to individual town.  Due to the financial crises in 2001, increasingly more Argentines are attracted to the public system.  Latest available figures reveals that close to 37.4% of Argentines were not under any insurance cover in 2000. Fortunately, Obras Sociales exists to provide insurance coverage for approximately half of the country; among these, 3.8% also enjoy additional coverage from the private insurance providers.  Only 8.6% of the population opts for exclusive private insurance coverage.

Copyright 2009~2020 International Health Insurance Plans. All rights reserved