Program Spotlight: Argentina Update
World Telehealth Initiative currently has two programs in Northern Argentina serving the indigenous population that does not have the same access to the quality of care that is known to be in Buenos Aires. We serve Hospital Público Materno Infantil de Salta, a women and children’s hospital in Salta, and Centro Provincial Eva Peron, a pediatric hospital in Santiago del Estero. Both of these locations will be supported by experts out of Garrahan Hospital of Pediatrics in Buenos Aires.
Previously, infants and children from the North were routinely transferred by a two-hour flight to a hospital in Buenos Aires. That option is expensive, it separates families at a critical time, and can delay necessary care that may even result in a fatal outcome for the child. Now, physicians from Garrahan can beam in via telehealth, assess the vulnerable patients, advise a treatment plan or stabilization measures and transfer the child only in the cases that it is completely necessary.
Since our programs’ implementation in June 2019, and with the expertise provided by volunteer physicians at Garrahan Hospital, the largely indigenous population can get the high-quality care they need close to home. Using in-country providers has proven to be beneficial as they are in the same time zone and language barriers are eliminated. Each consultation aided by medical specialists from Buenos Aires or elsewhere is a learning opportunity for the local practitioners to enhance their skills and provide higher quality care to patients now and in the future.