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Sat Nov 28, 2015, 01:09 AM

What might Macri's public health policy be like? Just ask at the Garrahan Children's Hospital.

The Dr. Juan P. Garrahan Children's Hospital is the largest of three public pediatric hospitals in Buenos Aires, and one of the largest in Latin America. Inaugurated by President Raúl Alfonsín in 1987, the 1.2 million ft² center annually hosts 534,000 doctor visits, 25,000 outpatient visits, and 131 transplants; its average occupancy rate is 98%. It even includes a guest house for loved ones of hospitalized children who've been transferred from elsewhere in the country.

Its importance as the largest pediatric hospital in Argentina, and as one which primarily serves disadvantaged Southside Buenos Aires children, was underscored by a 1989 bill signed by President Carlos Menem stipulating that the City and the National Government share equally in funding its budget that today is nearly US$300 million a year.

For the last two years however, Mayor Mauricio Macri - who was elected President this Sunday on the right-wing "Let's Change" ticket - has routinely underfunded the City's statutory obligations to Garrahan Hospital. His 2014 budget did so by 113 million pesos ($14 million), and the 2015 budget by 216 million pesos ($24 million). The shortfall thus rose from 12% of the City's share, to 18.5%.

According to Oscar Trotta, a member of the Garrahan Hospital Board, these cutbacks "will be reflected in the suspension of numerous ongoing improvements, including greater generator capacity to handle power needed by new MRI scanners, the hybrid operating room for interventions in cardiology and hemodynamics, and for hiring additional nursery staff." "We were counting on the additional nursery staff because many mothers whose babies were born with defects are being transferred from Ramón Sardá Maternity Hospital," said Dr. Trotta.

Sardá Maternity, like all 33 Buenos Aires public hospitals, has also suffered from funding shortfalls during Macri's second term as Mayor. "While the infant mortality rate nationally is declining, Buenos Aires' is increasing - and yet budgets for pediatric hospitals are being cut," added Dr. Trotta.

Marcelo Scopinaro, the Chairman of the Hospital Board, added that "work will also have to be suspended on the new oncological day ward, the hospital pharmacy expansion, new operating rooms and outpatient clinics, the expansion of the bone marrow transplant wing that should double capacity to 14 beds, and other building improvements. All these works were important because the number of children needing them is increasing."

To Dr. Trotta, the problem is simple: "the Nation is bearing its 50% share of the costs; but the City has reduced its share of the costs by 18.5%." The shortfall worsened by September, when hospital authorities reported that of 158 million pesos ($17 million) the City had been required to contribute toward salary costs, it had disbursed but $44 million ($5 million).

President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner attempted to mitigate this impact by havinf the Nation's budgetary outlay for the hospital raised by 50% for FY2016 - to 1.72 billion pesos ($180 million, currently). She also signed a bill transferring the land itself - a 23 acre lot originally owned by the Army - to Garrahan Hospital, something its Board had been requesting since it opened in 1987.

Macri, however, responded (after the election) by slashing 350 million pesos from the City's coequal share for 2016 - a 20% cut which differs sharply from his policy of awarding no-bid, unauthorized political advertising contracts to supporters such as sportscaster Fernando Niembro (who netted 21 million pesos this way).

Dr. Scopinaro nevertheless prefers to accentuate the positive. "We are happy and proud to finally have the definitive title to the land." "This will regularize various contracts, ensure proper operational risk coverage, normalize utilities, and other much needed changes."

At: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&u=http://www.telam.com.ar/notas/201412/89529-denuncian-que-la-reduccion-presupuestaria-del-gobierno-porteno-al-hospital-garrahan-afectara-obras-e-insumos.html&prev=search

And: http://www.diarioz.com.ar/#/nota/hospital-garrahan-preven-un-recorte-del-20-para-el-2016-47752/
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Shortly after Garrahan Hospital opened in 1987, a dystopian film - Lo que vendrá ("What's to Come" - was released in Argentina. In it, a civilian but highly authoritarian state in the near future keeps wages low, reacts brutally to protests, and of course critically underfunds public health and education.

The movie was partly filmed inside the then soon-to-open Garrahan Hospital.

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Reply What might Macri's public health policy be like? Just ask at the Garrahan Children's Hospital. (Original post)
forest444 Nov 2015 OP
Judi Lynn Nov 2015 #1
forest444 Nov 2015 #2
Judi Lynn Nov 2015 #3

Response to forest444 (Original post)

Sat Nov 28, 2015, 03:02 AM

1. Exactly the right place to film the movie. Shocking to learn Macri was already attacking the poor

of Buenos Aires before he ever ran for the Presidency.

The article leaves the reader sick right at the beginning. These maggots all operate the same: it seems it doesn't matter what right-wing group they represent, or what country. They are all operating against the future of poor people desperate to work their way out of constant suffering, fear, grief.

It's going to change. I would love to see it when things all come together. That will happen. The people will demand it.

Hearing this new (to us) information about Macri seems very consistent with the picture which had been forming as soon as he started getting into the news outside the country. Very much of his out-of-control ego covers his nasty face. He looks loathsome, absurd, a totally unworthy person.

Your information is greatly appreciated. We don't get the depth here, as you know, and very seldom any truth at all.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #1)

Sat Nov 28, 2015, 01:35 PM

2. Thanks, Judi Lynn. Macri's education policy is just as bad - unless it's for private schools.

In 2012, a typical year, he spent $350 million in private school subsidies (subsidies!); but only $42 million in maintenance outlays for the city's 850 public schools. This is actually 30% less than his own City Legislature approved - and it shows.

Macri's public school maintenance spending is also eight times less than what the city blows on publicity.

Unlike the Garrahan Hospital case, where Cristina Kirchner was partly able to compensate for Macri's cutbacks by increasing national budget contributions, public schools are an almost completely federalized responsibility in Argentina (i.e. each governor, and the Buenos Aires mayor, can spend their education budgets "as they see fit".

Another unfortunate Menem legacy which, like many of his mistakes, looked good on paper - but failed to take into account miscreants like Señor Macri.

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Response to forest444 (Reply #2)

Sat Nov 28, 2015, 02:49 PM

3. He's completely flagrant about his acts. He has been sewing seeds for rebellion against him

for quite a while already.

The education information is totally unethical.

He has consigned the poor's children to a life of poverty, and with his stripped away medical help to them, a life of suffering.

Can't get any dirtier than that.

Shocking.

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