Saturday, March 20, 2010

where to go for health

Now that some personal health issues have arised, which do not need to be stressed about but need to be confronted, I have been on a mission to discover the Argentine health system. I am fortunate to have an Argentine friend who hooks me up with information whenever I am in need. She is a saviour.

Not only did I want to check out the hospitals or sanitarios but I wanted to see what "natural" options Buenos Aires offered as well. The truth is, not much for the latter. Compared to Toronto, with its crazy black-market for FDA-banned natural products, Buenos Aires is a little behind in the health revolution. Toronto has a natural practioner on every corner and for everything from muscle spasms to pinky toe pains to toxin reduction. It's almost epidemic for the GTA.

Buenos Aires has its barrio chino, Chinatown, that has no homeopathic doctors, a couple reflexologists, and 3 supermarkets where you can buy herbs and sweet bread. The kind of sweet bread that reminds me of the ones you could buy in Taiwan and Chinatown in Toronto. The supermarkets carry some herbs but not enough to constitute an adequate movement towards healthier living. They carry a lot of anti-celulite pills and intestinal-balancing teas for this carnivorous culture, but lacking in pretty much every other aspect of health. I wonder if the treatments don't exist because there are no ailments to address or if those ailments are best treated with modern medicine. I have met a lot of students in school for medicine (and why not? It's free.)

I was given a bunch of links for hospitals and sanitarios by my friend and was happy to see that it costs between $100AR and $180AR ($27CA - $50CA) for private healthcare, depending on where you go. Of course, health insurance can reimburse you, but it's good to know that a consultation won't cost one an arm and a leg, literally, at the desk. My friend also explained that you can go to the University's clinic, which is free, but you will be attended by a student (who is supervised by a licensed practioner). She also said that any emergencies are treated as so, without the harrassment of signing papers to get health insurance information or if the comatose, perhaps fatally wounded, person will be able to pay for treatment.

This country is a lot more advanced than most Western countries when it comes to social programming, -- despite government corruption being pervasive, as it is everywhere. At least here, they know about it. It's a model Canada can truly learn from, the only obstacle is, what they call here, la plata (cash).

The only problem with the Canadian Health Care System is the greediness of our most gifted, usually opting to move south to make more money. Money, money, money. What we are left with are some lengthy waiting times, but not as bad as people think they are, and half-present doctors who dispense prescriptions like candy-machines so that they can get more plata from the system. (Pharma gives them compensation for every prescription filled.) Instead of wanting to heal a patient, with my lengthy experience with healthcare professionals, they are brainwashed to just perform treatments, of no fault of their own. Treatments mean more visits to the doctor which means more plata but less healthy people.

Looks like this is a battle for Briz Wevera, taking what she has learned from the outside and using it inside-out.

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