Healthcare in Argentina

Healthcare in Argentina is improving due to the investment in the healthcare system by the government. It is generally accepted that the best standards of healthcare are found in the nation’s capital of Buenos Aires. Other regions of the country have less sophisticated equipment but the training of staff right across the country is up to a high standard with many doctors and nurses receiving their educations abroad. Like every other country you should ensure that you have ample health insurance cover before arriving in Argentina, it’ll save you a lot of trouble in the long run.

The healthcare system in Argentina is organised around three main providers;

The private sector – this sector is one that most expats will opt to use as it provides the best healthcare facilities and care. This sector sees patients pay for the full amount of their treatment; it is though that 5% of the population fall under this sector.

The public sector - this sector provides free clinical care for hospital inpatients and outpatients. Patients have to pay for medicines but the government does contribute for most of those. This sector covers around 50% of the population.

Social plans- these medical plans are administered by trade unions and cover around 45% of the population. Employers and employees each pay a fixed fee with any differences being paid by the patient.

Medicines and pharmacists

Generic drugs and medicines are only given if a doctor prescribes them. The costs of medication vary depending on if you are insured or not. Up to 70% of the cost for medication dealing with chronic diseases is covered if you’re enrolled in the social or public sector health schemes. When visiting a pharmacist most drugs can be purchased over the counter without needing a prescription.

 The diseases that qualify for 70% coverage are:

  • Cardiovascular diseases and medication for prevention.
  • Respiratory diseases.
  • Neurological diseases.
  • Psychiatric diseases.
  • Arthritis.
  • Glaucoma.
  • Endocrine diseases.

There is also medication that qualifies for 100% coverage. This medication includes:

  • Medication for treatment of leprosy.
  • Medication used in oncology.
  • Medication for tuberculoses.
  • Insulin for diabetes treatment.
  • Contraceptive medication.

The emergency number used in Argentina is 107.