When Hector E. realized that his stomach pain could be much more than that was starting to get late. An instant after the private clinic of its prepaid provider told she had to wait two days to penetrate was angry, then scared and finally ended in Fiorito de Avellaneda Hospital, where doctors operated on him and told him that he hadsaved from peritonitis for hours. Anyone who has had the need to undergo an inpatient at a private clinic certainly has had an obligation to wait for it to release a bed. A delay that in these circumstances and taking into account that pays or provides for treatment, it is quiet and much less, short, ranging from hours to days, according to the urgency and, yes, luck .
The cases bear witness to a situation that has become everyday. But the numbers are striking cold to hear a strange phenomenon, which should give accurate discussion of the term “public health” and prioritize the need for a law to regulate the sector and protect the affiliate.
In the last ten years unemployment in Argentina fell, according to official figures, 19.2% to 8.1% and the proportion of white employees remains more or less the same (informal employment increased from 38% to 36 %). That is, increased the number of people who have social work, including that for deregulation in the 90′s, choose to provide prepaid.
Private medical companies increased their number of members by 39% only in the last five years, according to CIMARA, the camera that gathers most of the prepaid.Of the 4.5 million customers who are currently, 75% comes through the social security contributions. The rest is directly associated.
Despite the increase in membership and revenue, therefore, (it is estimated that this market moves about 15 billion pesos a year), the argument is that entrepreneurs business is not profitable. The reality is that in the last decade there was no investment in beds, according to data from the Ministry of Health, Capital had more in 2000 than now: 9905 to 9759. More demand, less supply.
“Beds for all patients we will not ever have,” he told Clarin Francisco Diaz, president of the Association of Private Clinics and Sanatoria Argentina (ADECRA). He continued: “The problem will always exist to the extent that the sector is not profitable. Cost is a problem with vacant beds lose money. “ Diaz says that the return takes too much to limit the offer: “Today the business is profitable with more than 90% occupancy.” That is, acknowledge that there is little margin for emergencies.
Mathé Federico Diaz, executive director of CIMARA also argues profitability problems. ”Profit margins are meager. What membership is greatly consumed.Businesses today have a yield of 1 or 2%. Okay it’s about multimillion amounts and dollars. But the risk of the money invested is enormous. So there is no foreign investment. ”
“This 90% is not. The prepaid system is still a business for few. Used to the uninjured, not for the sick, “claimed Susana Andrada, the Center for Consumer Education. And it ensures that prepaid medicine companies are third in the ranking of claims, behind the mobile phone (also has no law regulating) and fixed.
With the look of a high source coincides Andrada Ministry of Health of the Nation: “The lack of beds was noticed more than ever with Influenza A. No investment in the private sector, its purpose is to make money. Ever saw a balance of prepaid? “.
“We lack beds, and that the times of hospitalization decreased in recent years thanks to home care and the emergence of new techniques,” says Carlos West Ocampo, head of the Guild of Health. Agrees that it is a matter of “profitability” and says, not without irony, that “the biggest problem is the Federal Capital, an investor today does sanatoria beds, making them to hotels.”
Janez Carlos, president of the Medical Confederation Argentina, is another who agrees with the diagnosis and calls for “investment in infrastructure.” ”But with the values that social work pay and insurance companies, clinics have no way” he admits. Janez is not the only one who sees a trend alternative antidote: “Many prepaid and social work begin to have their own clinic to meet demand.” Mathé Diaz, however, does not coincide with Janez. He says that “the sector has made a major reinvestment in beds and technology makes it permanent.” At least the bed numbers and patient testimonials say otherwise.