El Estado de la Salud Pública / The State of Public Health Care
My friend is a nurse at Hospital Rivadavia in the Recoleta neighborhood. Decades of neglect and corruption have let this once luxurious public health institution crumble into a mess of garbage that looks abandoned and smells like cat piss.
This nurse friend of mine asked me to come by on a Saturday morning and take pictures of the hospital’s sub-par conditions. She was working on a report for a public health organization and needed proof.
I snapped pictures during our stealth tour as my friend about the hospital’s finances. Apparently, the place has about 1,500 people on the payroll, but only 750 come in to actually work. The rest simply collect paychecks. She also said the hospital has 1,000 beds on the books, but in reality it has less than 100. This means Hospital Rivadavia receives public funding for a 1,000 beds, but only spends 100 beds worth of that money.
“So the extra money goes,” she said and paused. “Well, I don’t know where it goes. Some people up top are putting it all in their pockets. It’s pure corruption.”
We were able to take picture for about half an hour before security guards stopped us and asked me to erase my memory card. I refused.
Hospital Rivadavia, Buenos Aires - © Diego Cupolo 2012