Health care for older persons in Argentina: a country profile

J Am Geriatr Soc. 2004 Oct;52(10):1761-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2004.52474.x.


Argentina is a large country situated at the southern end of the Americas. It is highly urbanized, and almost one-third of the population lives in the capital city and its surrounding area (Buenos Aires). The population is composed of heterogeneous groups, formed primarily by descendants of European immigration who constitute 85% of the inhabitants. In the last 30 years, Argentina has witnessed a growth in the elderly population from less than 7% to nearly 10% of the total population. Additionally, in Buenos Aires City, more than 17% are aged 65 or older. The healthcare systems for the elderly lack nationwide coverage. The Programa de Atención Médica Integral (PAMI) is the largest program for elderly care. It is a state-run program for disabled and senior citizens. PAMI serves 65% of the approximately 3.6 million older people in Argentina. The quality of PAMI healthcare delivery has decreased in the last 2 decades and has largely declined since the Argentinean economic crisis of late 2001. The rehabilitation and long-term care services are relatively underdeveloped, and fewer than 2% of senior citizens live in residential or nursing homes. Recently, the government has proposed a system of care built up from the primary care resources of the community.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Argentina
  • Delivery of Health Care / economics
  • Delivery of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Services for the Aged / economics
  • Health Services for the Aged / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Population Dynamics