The General Auditor of the City of Buenos Aires (AGCBA) expressed last week the problems concerning the lack of nurses, which was later elaborated by The and now a new problem has emerged. According to the audit, "the Ministry of Health of Buenos Aires doesn’t have a realistic scenario of the situation of the public hospital’s staff; therefore, they don’t know what the real needs of the health care system are". According to the watchdog, who published its report in June of this year, many people who had been appointed a specific task are actually performing another. These differences between formal functions and real functions "inconvenience workers who work in more complicated activities than the ones they were really assigned”.

The auditors took samples of the Hospitals in the City, and among the hospitals with most people the audit highlighted Maria Ferrer, where 82 out of 213 employees do different tasks than the ones assigned to them. Another example is in Ramos Mejía, where out of 1680 employees 173 do a different job than they were meant to. Finally in Sarda Maternity 22 staff members out of 585 perform different jobs than the ones they were originally given. At Sarda, there are two very particular cases. "There is an employee who works as a carpenter but was named as a patient transporter and another employee hired for the same job is actually the head of Human Resources." Meanwhile, at Ramos Mejia, "there is a 58 year old first-year resident".

AGCBA expressed that "those responsible for the health care institutions are concerned about the lack of staff," however, "there haven’t been any studies conducted that show the quantity, profiles, and other necessary conditions, nor do they have documentation to support that petitions have been made from HR". There is also a lack of strategic planning "that would allow them to plan ahead, for example, for replacements because of retirements".

And the winners are…

During 2011 there were 372 openings for jobs. The specialty that had the most calls was the emergency room anesthesiologist which represented 25.27% of the job openings (372). The least requested were related to children, those being pediatric and neonatal clinicians for substitutions in ERs, with 6.18% and 6.99%, respectively.

AGCBA recommends 

After analyzing the weaknesses and critical areas of human resources in the health system, with reference to the year 2011, the watchdog recommends "implementing a policy design that understands strategic workforce planning as an instrument implemented in service to all workers."