However, the regulations were questioned by different mental health organizations, not because of their stated goals but because of the complexity of their implementation, which led to numerous twists and turns. In 2019, a report from the Association of Argentine Psychiatrists stressed that “it is not politically efficient to try to change reality from Parliament, when there is no prior political decision to generate real change”.
In that direction, the Ministry of Health then embarked under the current management, according to its recitals, with policies that Undersecretary Calmels announced before the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), in response to the evaluation that the international organization carries out in our country.
“Within the framework of a Province with unequal and heterogeneous characteristics, with 38% of the total population of the country, we understand that the mental health reform that we promote is unprecedented in the history of our countryfundamentally due to the magnitude and the changes that are proposed”, the Buenos Aires official began her speech.
And he explained: “It implies profound modifications in mental health services, but at the same time it supposes a transformation that we consider to be much deeper linked to the change in the conception, of the relationship of the State and its ministerial portfolios, as well as of the communities with those users of mental health services or with psychosocial disabilities”.
Along these lines, he addressed the advances in the process of deinstitutionalization, in relation to the four provincial neuropsychiatric hospitals, where at the beginning of the administration more than 1800 people lived. “42% were institutionalized without hospitalization criteria and with lengths of stay of more than ten years,” he said.
“The number of people residing in the chronic wards of neuropsychiatric hospitals has been reduced by 35%, and there are 632 externships under a support model in 181 assisted homes for community life, where users can develop and live with dignity“Calmels remarked.
On the other hand, he valued the expansion of 27% of the beds for the care of crisis situations in general hospitals, together with the incorporation of personnel, while “88% of hospitalizations in the public system happen there” .
“We also worked on the construction of territorial teams to accompany difficult situations, and thus the users do not need hospitalization,” he reported.
Finally, the undersecretary described the expansion and strengthening of care spaces based on the community, and not on hospital-centric models of care and care, about the network of care centers developed for those who need guidance and support in health mental health and problematic consumption.
The UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is the body of independent experts that monitors the implementation of the Convention by States Parties.