Essay, 10 pages (2500 words)

Demographics of argentina geography health essay

Argentina is officially known as the Argentine Republic. Argentina is located in South America and shares its borders with Bolivia and Paraguay in North, Brazil and Uruguay in Northeast. Chile is in the west and South of it. It consists of 23 provinces which are the part of Argentine federation. The capital of the country is Buenos Aires which is also the largest city of Argentina.

Demographics of Argentina


After Brazil, it is ranked as second largest country in South American continent. Total area of the country is 2, 780, 400 square Kilometers. Out of this total area 2, 736, 690 square kilometers are land and the rest 43, 710 square kilometers are covered with water. It is located in the Southern South America and is surrounded by South Atlantic Ocean in the East and South and Andes on the West. The coastal area of the country is 4, 989 kilometer. The main rivers of Argentina are Uruguay, Parana, Bermejo, Colorado and Salado etc. Argentina has six major regions. The Pampas, rich and fertile lowlands, are situated in the centre and east. The Mesopotamia is surrounded by the rivers Parana and Uruguay. The Gran Chaco is located between Andes and Mesopotamia. The Cuyo is positioned at the east of the Andes. The Patagonia is a large plateau and is situated at the South of country. The Argentine Northwest, which is in the North of the country. In sub-tropical areas of the country, the climate is mostly temperate. Hot and humid summers with periodic droughts are the characteristics of the Northern areas of the country. Central Argentina has hot summers and cool winters with thunderstorm whereas the southern regions of the country are characterized by heavy snowfalls in winter mostly in mountainous areas.


According to the surveys conducted in July 20102, the total population of Argentina is 42, 192, 494. It is 3rd in South America in total population and ranks 33rd globally. The population density is 15 persons per square kilometer. Population CharacteristicsFactsTotal Population42, 192, 494Population Growth Rate0. 999%Urban Population92% of Total PopulationRate of Urbanization1. 1% Annual RateBirth Rate17. 34 Births/1, 000 PopulationDeath Rate7. 36 Deaths/1, 000 PopulationMaternal Mortality Rate77 Deaths/100, 000 Live BirthsInfant Mortality Rate10. 52 Deaths/1, 000 Live Births


Followings are some of the characteristics regarding the ages of the Argentineans. Population’s ParticularsAverage AgesTotal77. 14 YearsMales73. 9 YearsFemales80. 54 YearsAge StructuresPercentagesMalesFemales0-14 Years25. 2%5, 450, 6795, 200, 70415-64 Years63. 6%13, 400, 99713, 440, 94865 Years and Above. 11. 1%1, 940, 8102, 758, 356

Sex Ratios

Following table explains the sex ratios of Argentina. Sex RatioFactsAt Birth1. 05 male(s)/femaleUnder 15 Years1. 05 male(s)/female15-64 Yearsmale(s)/female65 Years and Over0. 7 male(s)/femaleTotal Population0. 97 male(s)/female


According to Argentina’s constitution any person of 15 years and over who can read and write is considered a literate person. The table given below is a glimpse of the literacy rate of the country. Literacy RatePercentagesTotal97. 2%Males97. 2%Females97. 2%

Ethnic Groups

Argentina is known as a country of immigrants. Most of the Argentines are settlers of colonial era. The immigrants of Europe, who moved to Argentina in 19th and 20th century, also build up a major part of the country population. Ethnic GroupsNumbersPercentagesWhite (Mostly Spanish and Italian)38, 859, 286. 9792. 1Mestizo (Mixed White and Amerindian Ancestry)1, 307, 967. 313. 1Amerindians8, 016, 57. 381. 9Arabs5, 485, 02. 421. 3others3, 797, 32. 440. 9Moreover, the indigenous people formulate the 1% out of total population. Here is a brief review of indigenous ethnic groups. Indigenous Ethnic GroupsNumberPercentagesAtacama3, 0440. 5Ava-Guarani21, 8073. 6Aymara4, 1040. 7Chane4, 3760. 7Charrua4, 5110. 7Chorote2, 6130. 4Chulupi5530. 1Kolla70, 50511. 7Lule8540. 1Mapuche113, 68018. 8Ona6960. 1Pampa1, 5850. 3wichi40, 0366. 6


In Argentina constitution guarantees the freedom of religion but it also demands government to support the Roman Catholicism monetarily. Here are some of the percentages, according to world Christian Database, of different religions in the country. ReligionsPercentagesChristians92. 1Agonistic3. 1Muslims1. 9Jewish1. 3Atheists0. 9Buddhists0. 9


The official language of Argentina is Spanish. It is usually pronounced castellano (Castilian) by Argentines. Since, it is a diversified society so there are many other languages which are spoken in the country. For example Italian, English, German and French and some indigenous languages such as Mapudungun, Quechua etc. are also in use in various parts of the country.

Health Care System of Argentina- Introduction

Health care is something which is used by everyone because at one point of life one has to visit a doctor in a hospital. The health care facilities are not the same throughout the globe because every system has its own advantages and problems as well. In Argentina, the health care system operates under the Ministry of Health, which is known as Ministerio de Salud in Spanish. Generally, larger cities of the country have modern and state of the art health care and medication facilities but small towns and villages may lack the modern machinery and equipments. According to data available on World Health Organization (WHO), Argentina spent 8. 1% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on healthcare provision in 2010. But due to economic fluctuations this percentage keeps on changing. For instance in 2009 the government of Argentina spent 9. 5% of its GDP in order to provide healthcare facilities to its citizens. Under the constitution of Argentina, the government must ensure access to healthcare services for all populace, with the public system liable for care of the considerable segment of the populace that is uninsured. According to a census conducted in 2001, around 17million people in Argentina were uninsured, who are equivalent to 48% of the population, but this figure jumps over 60% in the less-developed Northern provinces. This ratio is anticipated to have reduced to 40% by 2008 due to an economic boom after the recession of 2001-02 but increasing joblessness has led to transformed deterioration before a slow revival in 2011-14 brings further improvements.

Divisions of Health Care System

In Argentina healthcare system is divided into three main sections: Government Funded Healthcare Services (Public Healthcare System)Private Healthcare SectorSocial Security Financed Healthcare System (Obras Sociales)

Public Healthcare System

The public sector is responsible to provide the healthcare facilities through a vast network of public healthcare services. Presently, the provincial and municipal authorities possess the most expensive and extensive infrastructure is liable to provide the healthcare facilities to low income groups who do not have social security coverage and to those who have limited access due to their geographic location or any other reason. Public healthcare services cover almost 50% of the total population. These services are funded by the government of Argentina. Ministry of Health (Ministerio de Salud) is responsible to oversee and look after government hospitals and medical services. Due to decentralization, the administrative control of these services lies with the municipal authorities, which work under the supervision of provincial and federal ministries. It means there are various levels to ensure the quality of these services. These health services are free of charge for all either a resident of Argentina or a foreigner. The only charges are the prescription charges for the pharmacies to issue medicines.

Private Healthcare Sector

The private sector consists of the professionals and private healthcare services that provide independent services to private patients. It depends upon the ability of the patients to pay. The private sector covers 5% of the whole population. In Argentina the private sector is flourishing but scrappy, with many individuals who are not affiliated with any organization. They provide healthcare facilities primarily to those individuals who have private insurance, or to those who are component of a national health insurance scheme. There is a wide variety of private insurers to select from, both national and international. Some private hospitals, mostly in large cities of the country, provide health plans which foreigners and inhabitants can join in. A private health insurance premium depends on age and family needs of the insured person.

Social Security Financed Healthcare System (Obras Sociales)

Social security funded healthcare is the third important component of the Argentina’s healthcare system. It is also known as obras sociales. This system works with the cooperation of both the employer and employee of the organizations. The employer usually contributes 5% of the monthly salary whereas the employee shares 3% of its monthly salary. The obras sociales plans are actually the system of necessary social insurance which includes many additional benefits than the healthcare facilities. The government of Argentina is making efforts to boost this system in order to create an environment of competition between obras sociales and private insurance companies. There are also Obras Sociales not related to trade unions which provide care to middle and senior levels of management who earn over US$2, 000/month. These obras sociales are financed like usual OS. The distinction lies in the superiority of service due to higher revenues and profits. There are 24 institutions of such type in Argentina having approximately 950, 000 members.

Cost of Healthcare in Argentina

It is evident from above that the healthcare system of Argentina is a mixture of both public and private systems. Both the systems are meant to provide the health and medication facilities to the patients of the society; however, both the systems are different when it comes to their costs. The public health care system is mainly funded by the government of Argentina and for this purpose it spends a healthy portion of its GDP on its healthcare projects. According to World Health Organization (WHO) total expenditures on health sector are 8. 1%. The main source of these expenditures is revenue collection through taxes. Since government collets the tax for the provision of health facilities, therefore the health facilities in public sector are almost free for all the citizens of the country and the constitution of the country also gives them this basic right. On the contrary, the private sector comprises of the private health professionals that provide self-governing healthcare services to individuals according to their ability to make payments to those professionals. Therefore, the cost of the private healthcare services remains very high in the country as it is mostly afforded by the elites of the country. Moreover, present private healthcare system in Argentina constitutes a very varied structure with huge number of organizations, enormously high service costs, and little candor in the areas of competition and customer safety. There is at present no useful method to protect users from bearing the burden of increasingly severe competition. Its supple formation certainly allows the private insurance system to operate dynamically as a minor unit within the health care system in its early stages. However, this suppleness may now cause a barrier to maintaining and mounting an incorporated, and open market.

Health Insurance in Argentina

Healthcare costs in Argentina are multiple times cheaper as compared to other developed countries of the world such as United States and United Kingdom etc. However, one of the most significant tasks faced by health system is to produce well-organized, just, and sustainable financing systems, which promise widespread coverage of high quality health services to the whole population.

Public Sector

The public sector relies on subsidies provided by the government of Argentina; therefore, it does not compose a structure of health insurance, since patients are not recognized as members. In addition, there is no paperwork for epidemiological risks. Generally, public healthcare services are used regularly by people without official coverage. During the 1990s, this segment became decentralized on gradual basis. This decentralization was originated from the central level to regional or local management, which restricted the role of federal ministry of health only to establishing national health policy. Now the federal government accounts for total 4% healthcare expenditures. After the decentralization, provincial ministries of health are responsible for basic public health services. Since the governmental framework which was enacted in 1993, hospitals have been able to take up a self-managed position. In nut and shell, government hospitals provide facilities to the so-called uninsured groups.

Social Health Insurance Sector

On the other hand, the social health insurance sector provides healthcare facilities to a large population. According to the facts available for 2007, this sector covered 54% of the total population by providing three types of social healthcare insurance schemes.

Obras Sociales Nacionales (OSNs)

This insurance scheme is mainly managed by the trade unions. The scheme works with the collaboration of both the employers and employees to provide healthcare facilities. This insurance plan has more than 300 funds. In 2004 only 19 funds provided the healthcare services to more than 67. 11% of the total affiliates and members of the scheme.

Instituto Nacional de Seguridad Social de Jubilados y Pensionados (INSSJyP)

INSSJyP is a health insurance fund which is established to provide healthcare facilities to the retired individuals of the country. It is a mixture of employee contributions of 3%, employer contributions of 1. 62% and contributions from pension benefits ranging from 3% to 6%. Besides the health services, the fund also provides many other services including the recreation and funeral facilities etc. Presently this plan has more than 3 million members in the country. It makes contracts with the private healthcare providers for the provision of services.

Obras Sociales Provinciales (OSPs)

OSPs insurance scheme is limited to territory of each province of the country. This insurance plan is created to provide healthcare services to the civil servants in each of the province. With the help of the OSPs, 5 million public servants and their dependents are served. The coverage level is determined the ratio of public servants in each jurisdiction.

Private Sector

The private sector consists of two types of insurance plans. First is known as private health insurance or Mutuales, which include not for profit organizations and second is called private health facilities or Prepagas, which are for- profit organizations. The private sector consists of more than 200 organizations and provides services to over two million people of the country. Out of these companies 72 largest companies provide the healthcare facilities to 1, 740 million members. Since these are for-profit companies so they mainly target the elite class of the country.

Role of Government in Healthcare System of Argentina

In Argentina the health care system works under the supervision of federal Ministry of Health. The ministry assists the office of the president in order to make policies regarding the healthcare provision for the civilians of the country. The ministry has very specified goals and objectives which provide an insight regarding the role of the government in the healthcare system. Preparing national health policies and making effective plans for their implementationSupervising the healthcare institutions such as hospitals etc. to ensure effective provision of the servicesEnsuring the coordination among the federal health ministry and provincial ministriesEnsuring its participation in the development of the regulations and occupational medicinesOverseeing the healthcare projects started under the public-private partnershipRegulating and maintaining the availability of funds to ensure transparency and candorcontribute in the preparation and execution of integrated social security in health-related issuesunderstanding the needs of the public and developing the insurance coverage plans with the collaboration of National Social Security sectorCreating awareness and understanding among the public about various diseases and their cure and treatmentCreating a regulatory framework to control the private sector to avoid the exploitationBuilding new infrastructure and inducting new and latest technology in hospitals to improve the quality of the services

Quality of Hospitals in Argentina

In Argentina the public healthcare system has a network of 1200 hospitals and 6, 000 outpatients’ clinics which are run and controlled by federal and provincial governments and municipalities as well. Since these public hospitals are based on government funding therefore these lack many facilities. There is a shortage of healthcare personnel which is a significant barrier in the way of providing health facilities to general public. Due to staff shortage the patients have to wait in long queues for appointments and check up as well. These public hospitals also lack the modern machinery and equipments which are essential to perform various surgeries. It takes months or even years to get hospital equipment which put the patient’s health and life at risk. According to data available the hospital bed density in public hospitals is 4 beds per 1000 patients and 3. 155 physicians/1000 patients are available. These facts show the grim situation which exists in the public hospitals of the country. Moreover, the cleanliness conditions of the hospitals are not up to mark which is also causing hazards to the public health. The attitude of doctors in public hospitals is not very good with the patients. The main reason behind this is the low monetary benefits which are associated with his job. They prefer to offer their services independently or in private sector where they can get more benefits in short time. On the other hand, the private sector of the country has 2, 040 hospitals which provide excellent services to patients. Private hospitals contribute for about 45% of all hospitals but less than 40% of all beds. These have roughly 2, 000 inpatient facilities and 6, 800 outpatient clinics. Few private hospitals have latest and high-tech equipment such as ultrasound machines, tomography or magnetic resonance. 60% of these private hospitals have modern information systems to manage their patients.

Registered Doctors

Followings are some facts regarding the numbers of doctors in Argentina. ParticularsFactsRegistered Doctors and Physicians (2004)1, 226, 23Physicians Density3. 155 Physicians/1, 000 Patients

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