On October 13, the President of the Argentine Nation, Dr. Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, inaugurated the first building stage of the Río Gallegos Nuclear Medicine Center, in the context of the inauguration of the Entre Ríos Medicine Nuclear Center (CEMENER, in Spanish).
Both construction works were carried out in the context of the National Plan of Nuclear Medicine encouraged by the national government through the Ministry of Federal Planning, Public Investment and Services (MINPLAN, in Spanish), the Ministry of Health and the National Commission of Atomic Energy (CNEA, in Spanish), which is aimed at providing the Argentine with the tools offered by the nuclear field to the prevention, control and treatment of chronic non-communicable diseases (ECNT, in Spanish) such as cancer, respiratory, cardiovascular and endocrinology diseases.
The main goals of the plan include social inclusion, by ensuring equity and free public health; technology, by establishing infrastructure and providing highly complex equipment; and human resources, by educating and training professionals and technicians; thus creating sources of employment and encouraging the regional development. This initiative, in line with the National Plan of Cyberhealth, involves the radioactive tracers’ production in each region.
The Nuclear Medicine is a medical specialty that uses radioactive isotopes together with specific molecules (radioactive tracers) to diagnose, treat and research diseases. Nuclear Medicine explorations are non-invasive, safe and almost painless without side effects.
They also allow to identify alterations before diseases are clinically detected (phase of diagnosis) making early treatments to be more effective and prognosis frequently more favorable.
The development and set-up of Nuclear Medicine Centers in the whole country will require a great number of new professionals such as physicians, physicists, engineers and technicians in general; thus improving employment prospects and contributing to the progress of all the provinces.
To train and educate the different professionals, agreements have been signed with technical schools and especial training institutes such as Dan Beninson Institute and Balseiro Institute, both dependent on the CNEA.