In Argentina the National Ministry of Health finances the healthcare service operations, establishments, and institutions of the country and participates in the planning and establishment of the country’s healthcare sector in coordination with the provinces and the Government of the City of Buenos Aires. It is responsible for the establishment of norms and procedures which guarantee the quality of medical care.
Foreigners who visit Argentina should have a medical insurance policy that will cover any type of sickness or accident which could occur during their stay. In general, when using an insurance plan in a foreign country, the holder of the plan must pay for all services rendered inside of the country and then fill out a request for reimbursement from their insurance company in their country. However, if the traveler does not have medical insurance, they can use either the public or private medical services and pay the corresponding amount at cost.
In Argentina, the word, “hospital,” indicates a government institution, whereas “Clínica” or “Sanatorio” refers to a private service provider. In case of a life-threatening emergency, you should go to the closest healthcare provider. If you suffer an accident in public, an ambulance will take you to a public hospital where there will be more specialists available at any time of day and where there are experts who are prepared to deal with trauma cases. If you were to need treatment for an extended period of time, you should move to an institution covered by your insurance plan as soon as your health allows it. In any case, before leaving the healthcare institution you should pay for the received services as an external patient.
When you need to see a doctor, you should call by phone to make an appointment. If it is an emergency, you can go to the emergency room of any public or private hospital. Although the employees of the institutions may not speak English, they will try to help you in every way possible.
When a child stays the night in a hospital, it is common for the parents to stay with their child. The same occurs in the case of an adult patient: normally, a family member will remain close by.
In Buenos Aires there is emergency room service available 24 hours a day in several medical areas. It is a good idea to know where these health care services are located in relation to where you live.
The following is a list of medical institutions used by the American community in Buenos Aires:
Sanatorio de la Trinidad
Av. Pueyrredón 1640
1118 Buenos Aires
Instituto del Quemado
Pedro Goyena 369
Sanatorio Mater Dei
San Martín de Tours 2952 (1425)
Instituto Argentino del Diagnostico
Marcelo T. de Alvear 2346/2400
C1122AAL, Buenos Aires
Hospital Municipal de San Isidro
Juan José Díaz 818
Fondo de la Legua 390
Clinica San Lucas
For a comparison of various health insurance plans for expatriates, visit www.globalinsurance.net .