In the context of a society overwhelmed by news related to the economic and social aspects and the turmoil of the election year, there was news that was soon buried by the situation. This is excellent news for the public health of our country, that is, for society as a whole, and an undeniable source of pride for the doctors associated with the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) in particular. At the end of June, the internationally ranked HospiRank identified the Hospital de Clínicas Jose de San Martín of the UBA Ranked first among national general hospitals and as one of the best in Latin America Based on multiple items associated with diagnostic equipment and surgical infrastructure quantitatively and qualitatively. (The Nation 6/22/2023)
Although infrastructure is a transcendent aspect of current medicine, an analysis of the Hospital de Clínicas that focuses only on these aspects would leave aside the true “holy fire” of the institution, which stands out clearly: the quality of health professionals. Health team that compose it. Concentrated, as in very few health institutions in Argentina, service by service, the most prominent graduates of the UBA Faculty of Medicine and the rest of the universities. Hospital de Clinicas stands out strongly in each of its three pillars: Assistance, teaching and research. It is the perfect synthesis of what is expected of a university hospital.
The scientific output of its professionals has an insurmountable scope, both in national and foreign publications.
At the level of care, the data that its current director, Marcelo Melo, explains to us with real satisfaction, show us that 10,000 people move through the hospital every day and that more than 360,000 consultations are performed annually and more than 8,000 surgeries are performed in its 30 operations. Rooms. The hospital’s social importance is clearly reflected by its statistics. The coverage of hospitalized patients in 2022 was as follows: 39.8% were patients without coverage; 37.5% from PAMI; The rest, 32.7%, is from various social businesses. Of the patients not included, 55% came from suburbia, 37% from CABA, and 3% from abroad; 2.2% with inside and 2.3% without available data. Surgical interventions in 2022, by type of admission, were 38.8% for outpatients; 37% in hospitalized patients and 24.2% in emergency cases. 35.4% of the surgeries were performed on patients without coverage.
The hospital annually receives 1,500 UBA students in 30 chairs of the Faculty of Medicine and in Pharmacy, Biochemistry and Psychology, as well as scholarship holders from several Latin American countries and undergraduate students from European countries who carry out internships.
The Department of Teaching and Research, headed by Prof. Alberto Ferreris, is an area of utmost importance in the context of a university hospital such as “El Clínicas”. There, the postgraduate professional training and multiple research projects that are carried out at the hospital are supervised. Research like the one recently published abroad on the genetic aspects of Alzheimer’s disease (identifying three chromosomal loci associated with a reduced risk of suffering from the disease), one of its authors is the current Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at UBA, Professor Luis Ignacio Brusco. The college and the hospital have a good synergy. It is also important to highlight the permanent support of the Hospital de Clínicas by the University of Buenos Aires, whose president is the eminent physician and researcher Ricardo Gilbe.
An organization of vital importance to the hospital is the Medical Association, whose current chair is Professor Luis E. Saroto (H), who is a tireless generator, with his team, of multiple initiatives. Meanwhile, the Hospital de Clínicas Foundation, headed by Alejandro MacFarlane, is an example of channeling solidarity towards the Foundation.
As it turns out, such a prestigious institution as the Hospital de Clínicas It is the result of many virtuous leaders committed to it, as well as relying on an exceptional human resource.
The hospital appears the biography It has no equal in our country, given that its 142-year history is linked to the history of Argentine medicine. Its immediate predecessor was the “Men’s Hospital” located in San Telmo. Many of its doctors, such as Cleto Aguirre (first professor of ophthalmology), were promoters of the first “Clinicas” building, according to data highlighted by Professor Roberto Ermoli. We have to trace the origin back to 1877, when the construction of the old building, in the current Plaza Hosay building, began service in 1881. Its initial name was “Hospital of Buenos Aires” and in 1883 it was renamed “Hospital de Clínicas”, when transferred to the Faculty of Medicine By the then Minister of Education under President Julio A. Roca, Dr. Eduardo Wilde. Its construction design (as described by Professors Pérgola and Sanguinetti) was inspired by the Friedrichsheim Hospital in Berlin and by the Carlsruhe lazaretto. A year before it began its activities, during the struggle for the Union of Buenos Aires, it became a rifle barracks and began to be used as a hospital to care for the wounded in the bloody battles of Puente Alcina, Corrales and Bracas.
Throughout its history, the hospital has had exceptional doctors, real heroes of Argentine medicine such as Doctors Pirovano, Posadas, Ayerza, Ars, Hosay, Castex, Justo, Aráoz Alfaro, Ingeneros, E Fenuccito, Lanari, Canton, Ruffo, Garhan, Ludette and Chutro and Balado Agote, Rojas, Pardo, M. Herrera Vegas, Padilla, Brea, Santas, Fustinoni, de Robertis, Dassen, Cossio, Mazza, Escudero Ahumada, Carrillo, R. Wernicke, Aguirre, Burucúa, Stoppani, Cordero and Aráuz, among others many others. In 1949 construction began on the present building, a massive 135,000 square meter work with 13 floors and three basements.
The world’s first surgery was filmed at Hospital de Clinicas. They were performed in 1899, and the surgeon was Dr. Alejandro Posadas. The preserved imaging lasts 7 minutes and the surgery was performed with a pulmonary hydatid cyst. Renal biopsies/punctures were performed for the first time in Argentina at “El Clínicas”; first application of infertility, first application of insulin; The first cardiac catheterization. The first thoracotomy, the first medical residencies in Argentina (the best postgraduate medical training system) and the first bioethics commission in a public hospital, among other historic events.
Hospital de Clínicas is also a pioneer in performing many surgeries and procedures that are performed in a general hospital in the country. A partial list of these achievements includes minimally invasive and robotic surgery (the first public hospital in Latin America to perform it, in 1995); The minimally invasive method implemented by the Department of Thoracic Surgery in a pioneering manner of lymph node dissection pulmonary resection; Orbital decompression surgery in Graves’ disease tangle keratoplasty to treat keratoconus; Endothelial corneal transplantation. Implantation of eye valves in glaucoma surgery. Holmium laser prostatectomy and lithotripsy; Flexible ureteroscopy; indocyanine green fluorescent dye surgery in multiple surgical specialties; a room for surgical training with a simulator of video laparoscopy, digital endoscopy, and lithotripsy; Transplantation of intestinal microbiota. Wireless pH Capsule (Diagnostic Gastroesophageal Reflux); endoscopic radiofrequency ablation of Barrett’s esophagus; Development of an automated system for measuring cortisol in hair as a biomarker of chronic stress; The university’s first multidisciplinary center for chronic pain and palliative care. As recent data, this year the acquisition of the latest multi-purpose magnetic resonator stood out.
In their perception towards society, the different services of the Hospital de Clinicas They run multiple free campaigns annually It is intended for early detection of various diseases (arterial hypertension, prostate diseases, breast cancer, respiratory diseases, skin diseases, cataracts, glaucoma, osteoporosis, neurological diseases, control of scoliosis in children, etc.). Within this bond with the community stands out the recognition that DAIA gave the hospital in 2017, 23 years after the attack on AMIA, for its “heroic care for the victims by its health team.”
In short, given its illustrious past and prosperous present, Hospital de Clínicas de la UBA is a clear example of Argentine medicine of superior quality, which we should be proud of.
Consultant Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of British Australia Medical School, Doctor of Medicine