Although only 1% of all available Acute Hospitals of the City of Buenos Aires beds are allocated to mental health services, 38 of 3785, a report of the Audit of the City of Buenos Aires (AGCBA, for its acronym in Spanish) reveals that there were rooms equipped for psychiatric hospitalization that were disqualified for lack of medical personnel.
The audit work, approved last year on 2007 data, analyzed five of the 13 acute City hospitals. The report notes that the Alvarez, Piñero, Pirovano, Rivadavia, and Durand hospitals "have not officially named the staff’s positions for psychopathology services" or effectuated tenders for open positions.
In fact, the watchdog said that in the Rivadavia Hospital "the rooms equipped and capable of psychiatric hospitalization were unavailable to offer appointments for lack of designation."
In the Durand, the rooms were not functioning because there was no bid that would later provide relevant human resources and at the Piñero Hospital, "there are 14 beds due to a lack of nurses."
The AGCBA also found that "the workload is not evenly distributed" and that most of the staff is concentrated in the morning hours." The report states that, for every room available only one doctor can work, while the rest don’t have a place they can meet with patients.
Similarly, in the Piñero Hospital during the admission for hospitalization, "there is one nurse for every 18 patients during the night shift," the report also expresses that in the hospitals investigated "there is no control of the staff.”
For the Audit, the headquarters of all the hospitals are run down, "with lack of maintenance and they do not meet current standards in terms of accessibility for people with restricted mobility and building safety." Furthermore, "the clinics used are dysfunctional in terms of location, size, safety, level of sound insulation, and privacy."
In some cases, they also lack the necessary equipment. According to the AGCBA in the Alvarez Hospital, for example, "situations of psychomotor excitation of patients admitted to the emergency area are difficult to resolve because there are no elements of physical restraint."
The report concludes that "the system of services of general psychopathology in acute hospitals is disarticulated and is unable to conform to an effective and efficient mental health performance network.”