Physicians in the neurosurgery area of Pedro Elizalde Children's Hospital take care of the salary of a neurosurgeon who "is waiting for his official appointment." This is explained by a report of the General Audit of the City of Buenos Aires (AGCBA, for its acronym in Spanish), which also indicates that, sometimes, professionals "pay for the replacement and maintenance of surgical equipment."
According to the AGCBA, "half of the instruments used by the neurosurgery service are owned by professionals." It should be noted that Elizalde has three neurosurgeons and, as stated by the head of the area, "on several occasions the maintenance of the equipment - also - was paid by the doctors", it even said, they "are responsible for the internet connection, cell phone communications, of the prescriptions and pamphlets to deliver to the patients."
Regarding the receipt of surgical instruments, the Audit detected that "it is of low quality" and that "the area requested is not respected". He also clarified that "a good part of what was received turned out to be adults (the Elizalde is a children's hospital), coarse and of little resistance", to the point that the auditors observed that "the tweezers bend".
In contrast to the above, since 2006, "the neurosurgery service has decreased 50% of its productivity due to operational difficulties and, mainly, the lack of hours of anesthesia," states the report, approved this year on data from 2008.
Something similar happens in the general surgery service. The report details that, although the area is prepared to deal with highly complex pathologies, its action is "limited" by the few hours worked by anesthesiologists, who fail to comply even with "50% of their work time." Even the AGCBA states that "it is common that after 13 hours anesthesiologists refuse to start surgery even if it is quick to resolve."
Some examples given by the Audit expose the seriousness of the matter: "There were scheduled long-term surgeries, in which, although there were anesthetists of their own, the hospital had to hire external professionals." In addition, in the radio diagnosis division, "it is the anesthesiologist who determines the day and time of the study", because the sector does not have a specialist of this type and are "many patients - who - because of their young age, require sedation to get a CT scan."
What happens in the operating rooms?
According to the Audit of the City, the Hospital has six operating rooms, but the manager of the Department of Surgery said that "with the existing staff it would be impossible to assemble the six surgical teams." The report states that "the internal circulation corridor of the operating rooms functions as a reservoir of materials of different types, cars, boxes of elements, oxygen tubes, etc." Finally, the report adds that "employees enter with street clothes to sterilized areas" and that in the same corridors is "a coffee vending machine".
Who’s in Charge?
For the radio diagnosis service, the Children's Hospital has a Spect camera, a rotating machine to capture sharp images, but two years ago it does not work. The control body says that "DYCASA Company did not comply with the transfer and maintenance of the machine", although it should be noted that the spect is owned by the Government of the City of Buenos Aires. The head of the area stressed that "no one has yet taken charge of the problem."