The numbers ”of the pandemic express, at the same time, the undisputed seriousness of the current situation and the lack of rigor that has accompanied this entire process. The daily report of infected and deceased, what if it were the price of the dollar or soybeans, naturalizes a catastrophic -or rather disastrous- scenario, but is also limited in terms of epidemiological and health differentiations that would allow specifying scenarios, diagnoses and projections .
The same happens with the periodic accounting of vaccines that enter the country, which involves optimistically balancing the “negative” numbers, thus reducing the treatment of the pandemic to trivialized accounting. Forgetting what really counts cannot be counted on.
This is shown by the bill that proposes a numerical index to decide the application of restrictions: just a quantification and progression of infections as a reason in relation to hospitalization capacity.
There is no distinction between sick and vulnerable populations, nor any other specific index that allows us to analyze (those few) data rather than merely quantify them (and add others).
In this way, the logical action indicated by the epidemiological systemic methodology is diverted and upset. All the media, political and daily noise hides the silence of those who have the mission of contributing critical, rigorous and constructive thinking to those who should have the management tools. That is to say, the conjunction of knowing and doing that is missing.
In this sense, a dimension that has revealed its irreplaceable importance is that of having professionals trained in various specialties and adequately distributed throughout the national territory. Increased failure due to exhaustion by the professionals involved. Certainly, it is not something that is achieved in the short term, but it is something that can and should begin to be carried out today.
The lack of a body that articulates the universities and medical schools with the tangible needs (not exactly the demand) for training and professional specialization is evident.
That is, a link between the national Ministries of Health and Education, either through their respective Federal Councils, or through the Secretariat for University Policies, the CONEAU, or some other body to be created.
Without falling into impositions or any restriction of university autonomy, but with incentives and intelligence, it is about using the freedoms acquired as a tool to achieve greater efficiency at the service of the Nation. As always, the important thing is not the institutional “seal”, but the operative resolution.
It is irrational that in the face of the pressing lack of certain medical and nursing personnel, all investment (personal, institutional and social in general) falls depending on issues unrelated to the needs of health production and the consumption of timely medical care.
We cannot undo the consequences that we regret today, but we can begin to build a comprehensive health system to face the new post-pandemic social configuration, which has deepened the already high community inequality. It is enough, as an alarm signal, to refer to the updated data on child poverty that reaches 60% in the Northwest, 62% in the Northeast, 65% in the AMBA and 72% in the Buenos Aires suburbs, which requires pertinent strategic planning. .
We need democratic health for a healthy democracy. Today more than ever.
Ignacio Katz is a Doctor of Medicine (UBA)