In June 2003 the refurbishment and extension opened in the Santojanni Hospital. At that time, a news agency announced the venture as "the most important public works of the year in health." However, the increase in services was not accompanied with an addition of personnel for patient care. A report by the Auditor General of the City of Buenos Aires (AGCBA, for its acronym in Spanish) indicates that the hospital currently has a deficit of more than 300 nurses and other technical points and anesthesiologists in areas such as intensive care, gastroenterology, nephrology, and dialysis, orthopedics, trauma, and surgery.
But the lack of staff is not the only flaw that the Santojanni presents. Colonoscopy studies are suspended because the equipment necessary for that provision has been under repair for more than four months.
In gynecology, the most urgent surgeries, such as cancer, have a delay of one month. But in other conditions, such as prolapse, waits can last one year. This service had a hospital room with 10 beds, and other insulation, which were designed for reparative surgery but at the moment of the AGCBA’s report, they hadn’t been used for a year and a half.
For its part, the surgery area "has no real waiting list". Operations are performed according to the emergency room and are estimated three to four months of delay. Each area that offers surgical services have an operating room two days per week, although this is true "to the extent that there are anesthetists available," says the report.
The Hospital has 11 operating rooms, eight for general surgery, two for outpatient, and one of urgency. Of these, three are used as reservoirs for equipment, such as laparoscopy tower, multiparameter monitors, and anesthesiology tables. In addition, surgical instruments are "old", no casualties are reset, and both disposable items, such as clothing available are "insufficient".
The lack of professionals and equipment also affects the area of Orthopedics, where appointments are not issued for surgeries in which general anesthesia will be used. This lack of predictability forces patients to wait between 20 and 30 days before operations.
Moreover, the specialty of nuclear medicine has not been working for five years because the equipment is damaged, and its physical space is used as storage for supplies.
The audit says the Santojanni "has an annual equipment maintenance plan." Medical devices are repaired by outsourced companies that take between four and six months because of the delay in procedures and payments. There was a bid to operate the area of nuclear medicine but it was stopped because the grant was rejected.
Clinical care beds are deteriorating due to lack of maintenance; they have stains, damaged joints and missing wheels or rubber pads on the legs. There are also no screens or partitions for privacy of inpatients. A similar picture is presented in pediatrics, while in intensive care, the nursing shortage causes four out of the 12 beds to be unusable.
In addition to the eight beds in the coronary care unit, only six have monitors and not one is complete, on the contrary they are built and according to the needs of each patient. And the Hospital has only one cardio respirator and equipment for ECG, Echo Doppler studies are performed with equipment that is 21 years old and shared with the obstetrics are. The crown area has a sitting cardiovascular recovery in optimum condition for operation (full equipment, central oxygen, office nursing, private bathroom, and room for six beds), but are not used, and the AGCBA said it did not find a cause justifying why it is in disuse.
"The area of otolaryngology is not complete because it does not have the necessary instruments to perform surgical practices," the report of the inspection body says, "Practitioners should work with their own instruments and, although two years ago there was a request for a cart lamp light source, which costs $ 900, they have yet to receive a response.”