Tuesday, March 9, 2010

worth considering

Alright, I bite my tongue. Yesterday's post about the fear of getting teeth done in Argentina was an impulsive move, mostly driven by the pain in my lower left jaw.

Last night I had the pleasure of chatting with my Argentine friend about education and healthcare here, in Buenos Aires. What an eye-opener.

Although Argentina is rifed with corrupt politicians and thieving presidents, it does have two of the most important tools any society should not be without: free education and free medical care. The free education includes everything up to and including one's doctorate as long as you attend a State University like UBA or Universidad de Cordoba. You literally pay nothing, other than for books and materials, for as long as you are in school. I have met students studying architecture, law and medicine who are in school for 6 to 7 years with no tuition costs. Not only will they leave school with a skill, but debt-free, able to save whatever scrimpings they can to buy a home (with money, not with credit) or have a family (with money, not with credit).

Free medical costs cover everything as well, up to and including dentistry, a huge oversight in Canada's healthcare system. A healthy mouth is a healthy body. If you get into an accident, you are treated. If you are sick, you are treated. I have a friend who knows someone with HIV and he just walks into a hospital, they run tests, give him his medication and he goes home within an hour. For some reason, despite this public-system, there are no ardurous wait times. If you want to get a "cosmetic", dental surgery, like removing painful wisdom-teeth, it costs nothing if you go to the Dentistry School and, literally, a fraction of one's earnings if you don't. Here, in Argentina, there are options.

What was more impressive was being told that foreigners can have these "luxuries" (Iprefer to call them basic human rights) as well. I am looking at Master's programs here at UBA which could entitle me to a little piece of the basic-human-rights-pie. It is an affordable post-grad program and, if I am a student, as I was told, I could get access to the social programs offered here.

And I say to myself, what a wonderful world.

1 comment:

  1. So are you emigrating? Does one have to be a citizen of said country. Just imagine what its like it the USA. It's doing the socially right thing vs the capitalist system. Cannot see how this couldn't work hand in hand, but what do I know. The health care system in England was better too, it included dental too, & drugs were cheap too, one price for all drugs. 6.75 GBP. Ahh such a long way to go.