Official Name: Argentine Republic
Capital City: Buenos Aires
Official Language: Spanish
Surface: 2'781,207 km 2
PAHO Subregion: Southern Cone
UN 2 digits Code: AR
UN 3 digits Code: ARG
UN Country Code: 32


PAHO Basic Health Indicator Data Base
This is a multidimensional query tool that offers a collection of 108 indicators from 1995 to 2005. The system presents data and indicators on:
- demography
- socioeconomic
- mortality by cause indicators
- morbidity and risk factors
- access, resources and health services coverage.

Selected indicators are disaggregated into age groups, sex and/or urban/rural region. Generated tables can be exported and printed.

The data presented is updated annually with the latest country information.



    General Background: Argentina is in the middle of a global crisis provoked by different factors (economical, social, and cultural) all of them intertwined. The increasing polarization, impoverishment and social inequities have grown since the end of the 90’s, due to an important economic recession. As a consequence of unemployment and income reduction, half of the Argentine families lack a steady income to assure a basic package of goods and services. However, since the end of 2003 and with more emphasis on the first trimester of 2004, the Argentine economy shows sings of recuperation.

    In the last years, the Social Security lack of financing, the main axis of the Argentine Health system, brought to the collapse all health institutions. The country faces two serious health challenges; to overcome the sanitary emergency and to close the gap that statistical means occult, and define the margins of inequity between the richest and poorest sectors of the population.

    Demography: According to the National Census of Population, Homes and Households, which was carried out in the last months of 2001, the Argentine population is of 37,944,014 inhabitants, with a yearly population growth rate of 10.1/1000.

    The country has a territorial area of 3,761,274 sq km, and it has land boundaries with five countries: Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay. Argentine is integrated by 23 provinces and the Federal Capital. 89.4% of the population lives in urban areas (Census 2001 INDEC); ranges oscillate from 100% as in Buenos Aires (3,050,030 inhabitants) to 66.1% in Santiago del Estero (735,935 inhabitants).

    What is the impact of the economic crisis on the health of the most vulnerable population? Access to medical care, drugs, health promotion and preventive measures.

    The man to woman ratio is of 95 men to 100 women, and the trend keeps diminishing. The percentage of people above 65 years of age is of 9.9%, and the proportion of people under 15 is 28.3%. For the period 2000-2005, the total fertility rate is of 2.44; during the period 1990-1992 the life expectancy at birth is of 71.93 years for men and of 75.5 years for women.

    Economics: In the last 30 years, Argentine has had a long history of recurrent economical crises, the most remarkable occurred during 1981-82, 1988-1990 and finally, the recession that began in mid-1998 and produced the fall of the convertibility of the Argentine peso. During the 90’s, the country succeeded in overcoming the chronic inflation problem. A convertibility pattern matched the Argentine peso to the American dollar, in a 1 to 1 equivalency. Besides, the national government privatized a very important part of its structure. Despite the changes, they did not produce an improvement in the quality of life. Notwithstanding the reforms made during the Menem administration, there was no significant reduction in the public expenditure, nor improvement in the social impact or in the economical growth.

    Since 1998, the economy was in a deep stagflation situation and recession, so the quality of life of the population began to deteriorate. In the last months of 2001 and in the first semester of 2002 an acute political, institutional and socio-economical crisis, without precedents in Argentine history, erupted. The external debt, estimated in 2004, raised to $181,200 USD billions. As a result of that event, the real income has registered an appalling fall, and unemployment and poverty have increased considerably. Even when the employment and poverty indices show slight improvements, they are still too high, and constitute a central concern to the Argentine government.

    From October, 1998 to October, 2003, the poverty incidence among the entire Argentine population increased from 26% to 47.8%. The increase of extreme poverty (destitution) was even higher; it passed from 6.9% in October, 1998 to 27.7% in October, 2003. If the problem is observed by region, the Northeast presents the highest poverty and extreme poverty rates, and the provinces of Corrientes and Chaco have the highest indices of all country (68.7% and 65.5%, respectively). Seventeen of the 24 Argentine provinces have higher poverty rates than the national rate. Due to the direct relation that exists between those circumstances and the health of the population, the threat to the sanitary status of the Argentines is definitive.

    The inequalities that insufficient income generate over life conditions cause unjust differences. The distribution of poor population in regions with different degrees of economical development requires the implementation of differentiated policies on food availability, health, education, Social Security and environmental sustainability. In other words: the efforts to satisfy the requirements of poor people living in Tucumán or Jujuy are not the same that the ones made for poor people in the province of Buenos Aires.

    Unemployment: The activity rate for the total of urban areas during the second semester of 2004 is of 46.2. In the same period, the employment rate in the total of urban areas is 39.4, while the unemployment rate reached 14.8. This is considered very high, as the employment rate also comprises the population receiving State subventions, as well as people working part time. In comparison with the same trimester of the previous year (2003), the activity variation was 0.6, the employment raised 2.0 and the unemployment diminished 3.0.

    Migratory movements: Argentina has a long history of migration, besides its traditional condition as a receptor of European immigrants; it also receives migratory currents of its neighbors: Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay. Apart from a low demographic density in its territory, Argentina experimented very early the demographic transition, which has slowed the growth of its population. An important characteristic of the Argentine emigration, in comparison with the whole of the Latin American emigration, is that it is formed by individual with higher educational levels and with a large presence of technicians and professionals.

    Mortality: Since 1986, the global mortality rate in Argentina has been maintained at values near 8 per 1,000. Among the total population, the cardiovascular diseases are responsible for most deaths (rate in 2002: 249.6 per 100,000 inhabitants). In the same year the mortality rate due to cancer was 147.5 per 100,000. Communicable diseases were the third cause of death (rate of 67.9 per 100,000); this represents the 8.9% of all deaths. The fourth cause of death was trauma or poisoning (6.7% of all deaths and a rate of 51.55 per 100,000). 2.1% of all deaths were caused by conditions originated during the perinatal period.
    Analysis by age group
    Children (0-4 years): Infant mortality maintains a steady trend to reduction; it passed from a rate of 26.9 per 1,000 newborns in 1986 to a rate of 16.8 per 1,000 newborns in 2002. This rate ranges along the country from 9.1 to 26.7 per 1,000 newborns, with a Gini coefficient of 0.13. The conditions arised during the perinatal period represent 52.1% of those deaths. During 2002, children from 1-4 years of age presented a mortality rate of 0.7 per 1,000. The most important cause of death were external causes (trauma and poisoning).

    School-age children (5-9 years): In that group the specific death rate was 0.25 per 1,000 in 2002. External causes were the main cause of death, representing 35% of all death causes; 66% of dead school-age children were men. Motor vehicle accidents were the most important cause of deaths.

    Child Labor: As a result of the recession, that has affected Argentina the last three years and the precarious work market situation, child labor has increased in a very high magnitude. The most restricted definition of child labor considers as workers children between 5 and 14 years of age in rural o urban areas, that work outside their homes, receive tips or customarily help their relatives or neighbors. Bearing this in mind, data shows that in 1995 225,000 children worked, compared to the 482,803 children who worked in 2000, so the number of working children increased in that period about 91.6%. If one uses the restricted definition of child labor and considers as a work “to do the housework when adults are outside”, the number of working children multiplies almost by three. If those activities are considered as child labor, working children between 5 and 14 years are about 1,503,925.

    Teenagers (10-14 and 15-19 years): In 2002, the estimated population of teenagers (10-19 years of age) was 18% of the total Argentine population. The specific mortality rates were of 0.3 and 0.77 per 1,000 teenagers (10-14 and 15-19 years of age, respectively). Accidents and violence produced 61% of all deaths among teenagers. Here are the specific rates for motor vehicle accidents 6.0 per 100.000, suicide 5.2 per 100.000, and homicide and violent events of undetermined intention 12.8 per 100.000. Cancer was the second cause in that age group (8.1%).

    Adults (20-59 years): The maternal mortality rate in 2002 was 4.6 per 100,000 newborns. Although, that rate experienced a slight increase, it must be noted that the underreporting diminished significantly. Besides, this cause of preventable mortality represents an important inequality among provinces, with a Gini coefficient of 0.30 in 2002.

    Senior Adults (above 60 years of age): In 2002, the senior adults represented 13.3% of the total Argentine population; this age group has experienced an increase of 24.6% since 1970. After the age of 79 the number of women is twice of the men. Cardiovascular diseases (27.2%), cancer (18.2%) and cerebrovascular diseases (8.5%) are the main causes of death among this population.

    Workers: In 2002, the rate of injured people due to work accidents and occupational diseases was 51.7 per 1,000 exposed workers, losing one or more working days. Building, agriculture, manufacturing industries and transport have the highest rates (108.4, 101.8, 86.8 and 67.4, respectively) of injured workers per 1,000 exposed workers. Mining and Commerce have rates near the mean (51.9 and 56.6 respectively), while other economical areas presented indices lower than 48.2 injured workers per 1,000 exposed. In relation to the seriousness of the accidents, the arithmetic mean of lost work days was 21 days for every work accident or occupational disease episode, with one or more days of loss of work due to sick leave.

    Indian: According to the Institute of Indian Affairs, the Indian population was estimated in 1999 in 372,996 (1.1% of the total Argentine population). The principal groups are the Collas (98,000), the Mapuches (60,000), the Diaguitas (50,000), the Matacos (40,000), the Tobas (39,000), the Quechuas and Aymarás (38,500). The health statistics does not provide information discriminated by ethnical groups.

    Analysis Due To Type Of Disease Or Damage:

    Vector-borne Diseases:
    Chagas: Since 1991, and within the framework of the initiative of the countries conforming the INCOSUR/CHAGAS (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay), whose main objective is to interrupt the blood and vector-borne transmission of the agent of Chagas Disease, the impact of the Program is represented by the reduction of the following indicators of infection in humans:
    1.- Prevalence of infection due to T. cruzi in children under 14 years of age in endemic rural areas, 569,033 children were studied and the prevalence fell from 6.3% in 1992 to 1.82% in 2001.
    2.- Prevalence of infection in pregnant women: it diminishes from 11.84% in 1994 to 5.7% in 2001.

    Currently the Blood National Program of the Ministry of Health of the Nation controls 100% of the blood donors (811,709). The sero-prevalence of infection in that group fell from 9.21% in 1987 to 4.5% in 2001.

    In August 2001, the International Evaluating Commission of INCOSUR certified “ad referedum” of the XIth Meeting of INCOSUR (March 2002), the interruption of the Vector-Borne Transmission of T. cruzi by T. infestans, in the provinces of Jujuy, La Pampa, Río Negro and Neuquén. That situation means that if the surveillance actions continue on a constant, contiguous and sustained basis, there will be no new cases of Chagas disease due to vector-borne transmission. There are provinces that maintain areas where vectorial transmission is still active; those provinces are Formosa, Chaco, Santiago del Estero, La Rioja, San Juan and Córdoba. In other provinces the Control Program has developed important advances in the control of the Chagas disease. However, it is necessary to consolidate and optimize the surveillance actions to provide a 100% coverage of the endemic areas, and quick and effective responses when a positive household is notified.

    Dengue: Dengue reemerged in Salta in 1998, with an outbreak due to Denguevirus serotype 2. In 2002, between March and April, there was an epidemic outbreak of Dengue due to serotype 1 in four towns of the department of San Martín, that had suffered a previous outbreak due to serotype 2. In 2003, between March and April, an outbreak registered 79 cases due to serotypes 1 and 2 in Salta. In that event, the town of Salvador Mazza (bordering with Bolivia) concentrated most cases (43), the next most affected town was Colonia Santa Rosa with 27 cases due to serotype 3. On mid-November 2003, in Salta began an outbreak due serotype 3, that has been active until July, 2004. The presence of A. aegypti has been confirmed in 17 of the 24 Argentine provinces.

    Malaria: The endemic area is confined to Salta and, the departments of Orán and San Martín. In Jujuy, Misiones and Corrientes there are sporadic cases of autochthonous and imported transmission. The imported cases represent between 50 and 70% of all notified cases, and they are linked to migratory movements to the international borders.

    Occasionally, there have been epidemic outbreaks in the NOA, like the one occurred in 1996 in the provinces of Salta and Jujuy. Since that year, there has been a reduction in the notification trend: during 2000, 440 cases were notified in all the country; 438 belonged to the NOA. In 2001, 215 cases were notified (206 took place in the NOA); in 2002, 125 (92 cases in the NOA) were reported; in 2003, 125 cases were notified (92 belonged to the NOA). The isolated agent was Plasmodium vivax.

    Yellow Fever: In June 2001, there was an epizootic in Macaco monkeys due to Yellow Fever virus in the Brazilian State of Rio Grande Do Sul (bordering with Misiones and Corrientes). Some cities of the country were considered as potentially exposed to the risk of urban transmission (low coverages of anti-amarilic vaccine, high indices of A aegypti; proximity to the enzootic area and liquid transportation), even when there had not been reported cases of that disease: Buenos Aires, Santa Fé, Entre Rios, Corrientes, Misiones, Formosa, Chaco, Santiago del Estero, Córdoba, Mendoza, Catamarca, La Rioja, Tucuman, Salta y Jujuy. During the last years, the anti-amarilic vaccines have been given to travelers in the endemic zones and to the people living along the international borders.

    Vaccine-preventable Diseases: The last case of poliomyelitis provoked by wild virus registered in Argentine was in 1984. 80% of the cases of Acute Flaccid Paralysis registered in 2003 were investigated in the first 48 hours after their initial report. The same year, the vaccine coverage with three doses of Sabin vaccines was 96.7%. In 1993, Argentine decided to join to the Measles Elimination Program in the Americas. In that year, a massive vaccination campaign against measles was carried out among people less than 15 years of age, the national mean coverage of vaccination was higher than 95%.

    The intensified measles surveillance begins when suspect cases are confirmed trough laboratory tests. During the 1991-1992 epidemic more than 60,000 clinically confirmed cases were notified. For the first time in 1996, no cases were notified since the implementation of the Program. In 1997 and after the epidemic that affected Sao Paulo, Brazil, began a second epidemic that lasted from 1997 to 1999; 10,663 cases were confirmed by laboratory tests and epidemiological association. The highest number of cases occurred from the 24th to the 44th week of 1998. In 1999, 1,341 suspect cases were notified and 313 were confirmed. During this epidemic the genotype D6, similar to the one circulating in Brazil, was isolated. In 2000, 937 suspect cases were notified. An sporadic outbreak (six cases) was confirmed in Cordoba. From 2001 to 2003, 456 suspect cases were notified and none was confirmed. The coverage indicators with measles vaccine show that the coverage is higher than 90% since 1990. In 1998, a National Follow-Up Campaign showed that the coverage is about 98%. Since 1998, the MMR vaccine (measles, mumps, rubella) has been incorporated to the National Calendar of Immunizations.

    The notified cases of diphtheria fell drastically from 1991 to 1996, when no new cases were reported. The negative notification continued throughout 1997. In 1998, two cases were notified and since 1999 the negative notification lasted up to 2003 when one case was reported. The coverage with DPT has been higher than 80% since 1995.

    Eight hundred and six cases of pertusssi were notified in 1998 (2.2 per 100,000), and the highest rates occurred in the NOA region (3.6 per 100.000). Six hundred and sixty five cases (1.8 per 100.000) in 22 of the 24 provinces; the highest rates occurred in the NOA and SUR regions (3.5 and 3.6 per 100.000 respectively). In 2000, 576 cases were reported (1.6 per 100.000), the highest rates took place in the SUR region (6.2 per 100.000). The number of neonatal tetanus passed from four in 1997 to zero in 1998. Then, in 1999 two cases were notified; zero in 2000; two cases in 2001 and zero in 2003.

    During 1980-1999 and in relation with Tetanus in other age groups, the number of notified cases fell from 220 cases to 19. Thirteen cases were notified in 2000; twelve in 2001; 18 in 2002 and 19 in 2003.

    Enteric infectious diseases: The last epidemic of cholera in Argentina began in 1992 and ended in 1999. The total of notified cases was of 4,834; the last case occurred in the province of Santa Fe. The pattern of the diseases was seasonal and epidemic, coinciding with the summer months. Most cases occurred in the northwest region. No cases of this disease were registered between 2000-2003; the investigation of suspect cases is maintained in all the country.

    Food-borne diseases: The SINAVE informed 58 outbreaks of food-borne diseases in 2002, and almost one million cases of diarrheic disease. At the same time, significant increases in the incidence of cases of Salmonellosis and Trichinellosis were reported.

    Food harmlessness is very important for the country, as more than 58% of the exports, according to data of the first semester of 2003, are food staples, fresh and processed, and also due to increasing tourism since 1992.

    Chronic communicable diseases: 12,258 new cases of TB were notified in 2003, the province of Buenos Aires concentrated the majority of cases. However, the highest incidence rates occurred in the north of the country. Sixteen provinces notified, in 2003, 446 of Leprosy (Hansen disease) (rate of 0.12 per 10,000). The rate in the NEA region (0.72 per 10,000) was six times higher than the national rate, and the province of Formosa (2.12 per 10,000) is 17 times higher. The endemic zone for that disease involves twelve provinces of the NOA, NEA and Center regions.

    Acute Respiratory Infections: They represent 37% of the notified diseases to the National System of Epidemiologic Surveillance, and they are a important cause of mortality among children under 5 years of age. During the influenza season in 2004, the virus A (H3N2) predominated, while the virus B had a lesser circulation. Their characteristics were the expected for a season of virus A (H3N2) circulation. Virus was characterized as similar to the vaccine strain A/Fujian/411/02. Influenza A virus were identified early in the north of the country, and like in 2003, the peak of viral circulation occurred in Buenos Aires and its surrounding areas in May. No virus A (H1N1) were isolated. The simultaneous circulation of the two worldwide circulation lineages of virus B was demonstrated.

    Zoonoses: Dog-transmitted rabies is practically controlled in all the country, but in some towns located near the northern border. Wild rabies is present in almost all the national territory; several species of bats, frugivorous and hematophagous, are the main hosts. The last ones are responsible of economic losses, as they attack cattle livestock. The provinces of Formosa, Chaco and Tucumán have notified eleven cases in cattle and equine livestock. In 2004, the City of San Salvador de Jujuy has been affected; local health authorities reported 22 cases in dogs. Nine insectivorous bats positive to rabies were trapped in the cities of Córdoba, Santa Fe, Buenos Aires and its surroundings areas. The diagnosis of the first cases of pulmonary syndrome due to Hantavirus occurred in 1995. Eighty-eight cases were notified in 2002 and 70 in 2003. The cases occurred in the Central, NOA and SUR regions.

    VIH/AIDS and Sexual Transmission Diseases (STD): Until 2000 the epidemic had accumulated 18,295 cases of AIDS. However, and due to the delayed notification at that time, it had been estimated that the number of cases could have raised to 22,500 cases. Historically, the case distribution by sex, affected more men than women. In 1989, the men: women ratio was 12:1, while in 2003 the ratio was 3:1 (similar to the one registered in 2000). The number of cases of AIDS in 2002 was 1,399 (rate of 29.13 per 1,000,000); that index represented a 60% reduction in relation to the one registered in 2002. The AIDS mortality rate in 2002 was 4.03. The HIV prevalence, in 2003, among pregnant women was 0.35%.

    Among the STD, the trend of notification of cases of syphilis and gonococcal infections, and other urethral discharges has been maintained stable in the last seven years. The notified cases, in 2003, were 5,076 (rate of 14 per 100,000). A similar situation is observed with the notified cases of gonococcal infections and other unspecified urethral discharges. Congenital syphilis has had a sustained increase in the last seven years with 207 cases.

    Cardiovascular Diseases: They are responsible for more than one third of all deaths and are a heavy burden over the morbidity and disability of the population. At a national level, in 2002, the mortality rate for Cardiovascular Diseases was 262.59 and 234.88 per 100.000 for men and women, respectively.

    Cancer: In 2002, breast cancer was the first cause of death among Argentine women (20.4% of all deaths due to cancer). Among men, lung cancer caused 22% of all deaths due to malignant tumors.

    Meningo-encephalitis: The rate of notification descended during the 1998-2003 period, from 9.3 (3,371 cases) to 7.1 per 100,000 (2,565 cases). Sixty-one percent of the identified meningo-encephalitis were of bacterial etiology; 30% were viral and in 9% no agent was identified.

    Viral Hepatitis: The rate of notification of Hepatitis A and other unspecified Hepatitis doubled during the 1998-2003 period; the rate passed from 70.2 to 139 per 100,000. The rate of notification of Hepatitis B maintained a stable trend and a descendent one during the 1998-2003 period; the rate passed from 3.0 to 2.5 per 100,000. Seven hundred thirty-two cases of Hepatitis C were notified in 2003 in 16 jurisdictions. In 2000 the Ministry of Health incorporated the Hepatitis B vaccine for the newborns to the National Calendar of Immunizations.


    National Sanitary Policies and Plans: The Federal Plan of Health 2004-2007 proposes as main lines for the new roles and responsibilities of the different parts of the sector, the following:
    • Strengthening of the National Ministry of Health and the Provincial Ministries in their governing duties.
    • Guarantees given by the regions on the assurance of the universal basic coverage.
    • Development preventive and promotion programs, emphasizing the primary care and respecting the growing mechanisms of derivation within the care network by the provinces and townships.
    • Protection of the financing of the established programs.
    • Organization of the people to promote their role in the design and implementation of the model

    Health System: The Argentine Health System has two important characteristics. The first one is that it is very decentralized to the provincial level. The other important characteristic is the historical role that workers have played in the country, which caused that during the 1950’s the main instrument to finance the health care rested on the workers unions constituted in the so-called Social Works (Obras Sociales, in Spanish). Even today those Social Works represent more than 300 organizations with their corresponding health care plans, whose effectiveness is very irregular. The Ministry of Health publishes basic standards about the provision of health services and the conditions of functioning of those services.

    Prevention and control of Diseases: The Program of Maternal and Infant Health Care protects women and children populations at risk. It emphasizes the prenatal care, the delivery care and the control of the health and development of the children. The vaccine coverage increased progressively during the 1980-2002 period. Since 1990, vaccine coverage is higher than 80% in all provinces and since 1995 it is higher than 85%. In 2002, the national coverage was 93.8% for Sabin (3rd dose), 92.5% for DPT (3rd dose) and 95% for measles vaccine.

    The Program of fight against human retrovirus and AIDS provides to the uninsured population: charge-free antiretroviral drugs, supports the determinations of viral load and develops informative actions directed to the general public and focalizing those actions to high-risk groups.

    Health Analysis: The National Program of Health Statistics (NPHS) provides statistics related to the living conditions and health problems, delivering data about vital statistics (marriages, birth rate, mortality), morbidity, hospital productivity, availability and usage of health resources for the process of management in their different levels. The National System of Epidemiological Surveillance (NSES) is responsible for the register of the Mandatory Medical Notifications. The System consolidates, on a weekly basis, the data of those diseases whose notification is mandatory, as well as the laboratory data.

    Drinkable water and Sewage Disposal: In all the country (urban and rural areas) the drinkable water and/or the drainage services are operated by 1,548 companies or bodies; 68% of those are private companies and the remaining 32% are State-operated bodies. The coverage of drinkable water was in 2001 of 77%, but the distribution of those services presents great inequalities.

    Food protection: The development of local and provincial systems of food protection is currently a priority within the Health Sector policy, as an strategy to strength the ability to negotiate in an effective way the risks, through preventive approaches based on the use of good practices of food rendering (processing), the analysis of risks and the control of critical points. The communication of risks has been strengthened through the educational campaigns using mass media, education programs in schools, and with the development of educative materials to use them in different fields. Argentina coordinates the Codex Alimentarius Latin America Committee and the Salmonella and Pulse Net surveillance networks for the region.

    Individual Health Services: All provinces haves organized networks of hospitalary and ambulatory services, some of them very advanced. Many others have services of primary care, which are not always well integrated with the provincial networks, that have more wide coverage and response capacity. Some provinces have integrally transferred the primary health care to the township level. The diagnostic support services in the public sector are integrated to the hospital network. In the private sector those services are mostly located in the hospital network, but in the biggest cities there are usually autonomous diagnostic support units that hire services with the health plans.

    Health supplies: Within the drug market almost all the final products are produced in the country. However, in the case of other medical and health supplies, the ones produced in Argentina represent 25% of the total. Although, there is no updating about the size and structure of the immuno-biological products in Argentina, it is estimated that 85% of those supplies are imported, and 15% are locally produced with the required quality standards.

    In the Bases of the Federal Health Plan 2004-2007, it is ratified the importance of the Drugs National Policy (DNP), which was incorporated in 2002, and establishes a new regulatory framework with clear and set rules that benefit the Sanitary System. That policy was defined initially in the Need and Urgency Decree No 486/2002 that established the Sanitary Emergency status in the national territory and it was ratified by the Law of Use of Drugs by their Generic Name (No 25,649). The absolute priority assumed by the DNP is the promotion of the population access to the drugs. According to the international experience, the principal strategies that were defined are the regulation of the drug market and the direct provision of drugs to people that do not have the economical resources to buy the medicines in the drugstores.

    The National Government guarantees, from 2004 to 2007, through the REMEDIAR Program, the supply of drugs mostly for ambulatory treatments to 5,300 Centers of Primary Health Care in all the communities of the country; that Program allows the response to 80% of all patient visits in those Centers.

    Human resources: The results obtained by the National Network Observatory of Human Resources for Health in Argentina showed that in 1998 there were 440,100 health workers (3% of the economically active population). Doctors represent 24.7%, dentists were 6.6%; nurses and assistant nurses represent 19.6%.

    Health Research and Technology: The financing system in the country for the research is quite peculiar. It consists in the awarding of positions and doctorate scholarships, given by the Science and Technique Ministry through the CONICET, to scientific and technological researchers of different levels that are going to work in the most diverse institutions, most of them public and private. The national universities and the National Health and Environment Ministry trough the Undersecretary of Sanitary Relations and Health Research contribute also to that financing with research scholarships.

    Health Sector Expenditure and Financing: In 2003, 54% of the health expenditure was public and 46% was private. Fifty-five percent of the public expenditure was financed: 5% by the Social Security and 45% directly from taxes. In 2002, the total health expenditure was estimated in 23.6 milliard USD which represented a per capita expenditure of about 745 USD.

    Technical cooperation and external financing:
    The biggest external financing contributions come from loans for projects that carry out the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank.