Alejandra T Rabadán, Diego Hernandez, Néstor Vazquez, Rafael Torino, Blanco V. Marcelo.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

As far as public health is concerned, brain tumors burden is significant despite their low incidence, because they comprise high direct costs (specific diagnostic resources, high complexity treatments, and rehabilitation) and high-unforeseen costs (labor leave, family, and social issues). Although the Argentine's Health System is supposed to provide healthcare to all the population, it would not guarantee equity of access for brain tumors treatment. In order to analyze this hypothesis we decided to carry out a survey to obtain data on access, availability and resources for tumor management in Argentina.

METHODS:

An online questionnaire with eight dimensions and 29 queries was conducted addressing all professionals involved in tumor management. Two variables were generated: (1) type of medical center according to their financial support, and (2) the geographic region (GeoR). Analysis of association between these variables and the accessibility to different resources was performed with Chi-square and Fisher's exact test. Multivariate analyses through multiple logistic regression models were also tested.

RESULTS:

One hundred and fourteen surveys were collected from 56 state-managed centers and 55 private/trade-union managed centers. Responders came from 15 provinces grouped into integrated GeoR. Results and analysis of each dimension were reported.

CONCLUSION:

The data obtained provides information about the accessibility to brain tumors treatment, exposing the unequal distribution of human and technologic resources in Argentina. This problem exceeds the limits of public health to become a bioethical problem. We think these results could be essentially associated to our health system fragmented structure, and the large geographical extension of our country. Finally, we believe that collaboration of professional associations working together with public and private sector authorities responsible for financial resources and logistic should bring a principle of solution.

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