The private health system On the verge of collapse. Already eaten Serious problems facing this sector Because costs rise with income that does not offset these increases.
The reality of clinics, sanatoriums and prepayments is critical and affects the field of low-wage work, which leads to the dismissal of professionals at all levels. The situation has reached an extreme point: difficulty health institutions To get doctors.
“Today we have a very serious problem finding doctors of any specialty. Even nursing positions are difficult to fill. We are facing an event that has never been seen before,” said the director of a first-class sanatorium in Buenos Aires.
While the main reason is the same – the Low wage levels The departure of individuals occurs in different ways.
One of the reasons that has a greater preponderance is the cause of migration.
MDZ He consulted different health centers and the result is the same: every professional who had the opportunity to leave the country emigrate.
“Many doctors are leaving the country. Although the emigration of Argentines is a general phenomenon, it is very noticeable in this sector because there is a demand in many countries. The difference in salary is meager, ”explained the official of the cardiology department of a private institute.
Based on a survey conducted by MDZ, A doctor who specializes in heart surgery, in a dependency relationship, earns about $600,000 a month. When the ‘blue’ change, they are equivalent to $3000 per month or $36000 per year.
at United Statefor the same major, the annual income is rpp above 400,000 USD. The same relationship occurs in all disciplines.
In Canada, where the health system is public, the income of a specialist doctor also starts at $300,000 per year. The tax burden is 50%, but the taxes paid are received through health education and free high-level education.
Either way, the income can be as high as $1,000,000.
“I always had inquiries from fellow Argentines to come and settle, but recently the number has increased a lot. Canada is not the easiest country for a doctor to immigrate to, but there are a lot of inquiries. I am aware of the case of three Argentine residents who recently came to learn to specialize in the treatment of arrhythmias. The three stayed here. “They didn’t want to go back,” he explained. Mariano, an Argentine physician residing in Quebec since 2007.
The salary comparison is illustrative only because there are many variables that determine income. The states or provinces in which they reside, hours of operation, jurisdiction and others.
at nursing, The relationship is similar. In Argentina, the basic salary is $90,000, about $450 billIn the United States, the average monthly income 6000 USD. That is why, in Argentina, a phenomenon that is not new, but which is growing, is deepening: the phenomenon of blue medicine. Due to the lower income that they can pay in private clinics and sanatoriums, doctors charge a fee from outside the system. It is more and more frequent that a prepaid member, in addition to the fee he pays monthly, must agree to an additional payment if he wants a particular specialist to attend.
The fees they pay in the system are very low and doctors compensate for this situation with additional fees. Obviously, this has not been adopted by private institutions. This is an agreement between the patient and his or her chosen doctor. It is a practice that occurs from clinical advice, but especially in interventions of particular complexity.
MDZ He learned of two cases in which he had to pay “outside” to receive treatment by the chosen doctor. For the delivery, the fees were $30,000 and $4,000 for the heart surgery.
It is an increasingly popular method. This is not true, but it does happen. This happens if one wants to be treated by a particular doctor. For example, an obstetrician who accompanied the entire pregnancy can ask for a special fee to attend the birth. If the patient is not granted access, the patient will be examined by the physician’s team or selected by someone else. It is a difficult situation because one will want to be attended by a professional that they trust. It is a sensitive issue,” explained a consultant physician.
The problem is that the fees paid by the pre-paid specialists are so low that doctors leave the system or decide to continue working under this system, but charge certain care privately, by agreement of the parties.
The shortage of doctors Recorded in this system shows that many left because of low wages.
“There is also a huge shortage of professionals for on-call or in-office care. Many of these jobs were covered by foreigners who came to study and stayed in the country. Now they are leaving. “The case of Venezuelan doctors is clear,” the director of the private clinic explained.
The private health system has been dragging a precarious financial situation for years. The pandemic was a severe blow that worsened expectations, but the scenario is now critical. the reason for this final state And it has to do now with increasing wages for workers in the sector.
Accelerating inflation creates a very large gap between what unions demand and what companies can pay.
Last Wednesday, the first meeting was held between Argentine Federation of Health Service Providers (FAPS) and leaders health workers union in the Ministry of Labour. The problem is that the meeting was not intended to talk exclusively about reconfiguring the salary in the future, but to determine the form of compensation for the lost purchasing power due to the high cost of living in recent months.
The last agreement was concluded as of July 2021, and will continue until next June. For this department, a staggered salary increase of 54% was agreed upon. In the face of hyperinflation, workers’ representatives demanded an additional increase. What they proposed at the negotiating table was a 45% adjustment, split into 25% for April and 20% for July. For the month of August, it is suggested that these ratios be revised based on the inflation levels for that month.
And the supplier companies warn that it is impossible to pay this number under these circumstances. It should be noted that the 54% agreed upon in 2021, for a period of 12 months, will be valid for only nine, as the new amendment will have to be made next June. However, the union’s claim is to bring the new raise to April.
In this way, for one year, 25% of the APR should be added to 54%. Business sources consulted by MDZ explained that since the modifications are being phased in, in practice, what is being proposed may mean 92% cumulative salary increase in one year based on June 2021 salary.
MDZ consulted various private health firms and the average increase in income, last year, was about 40%. “It depends on the financier, they increased us in a very irregular way. In some cases it was 25%; in other countries 60%. But the global balance gives 40% or a little more. That no longer covers the 54% increase that we already gave. If You had to add 25% more, the situation is unsustainable, ”explained the director of the private sanatorium.
In the health service providers sector, they warn that if there is no proportionate increase in service prices, companies will not be able to cope with this salary adjustment and there will be bankruptcy wave
FAPS stated that in light of this economic and financial situation of health care providers, in order to continue the joint discussion that has begun – and understanding the needs of health workers – it will be a necessary condition for corresponding funding to be secured through the financing sector. , achieving the implementation of the financial relief package for the service providers sector and updating the REPRO program for health workers. All of the above measures should allow not only to meet future salary increases but also all increases in medical and non-medical supplies, while providing companies in the sector with the resources to make the necessary investments to continue to ensure the provision of quality healthcare.