Should we charge medical expenses to foreigners who are non-residents? 1) Yes, because they are not residents. 2) Free medical care should be limited to emergencies only 3) No, because it would violate human rights.
There have been a few changes since I last wrote about the free health care process a few years ago so here they are. Keep in mind that I am currently in the province of Cordoba and my particular experience is in the public hospital called "Hospital Nacional De Clinicas".
For starters, you can't make an appointment at the "centro de turnos" anytime you want to anymore unless you have health care benefits (obra social). So foreigners and locals living in Cordoba without insurance have to go at the crack of dawn to the hospital and wait two or three hours to get a number to schedule an appointment. They only give out 70 per day, hence the reason why you have to go so early... like 5 a.m.
In cases where patients suffer from more serious health issues like diabetes, cancer or AIDS, the government will pay for the medicine required if you cannot afford it. However, there's a lengthy amount of paperwork and wait time. So keep that in mind if your sole intention is to come here to treat something serious. You can always bring USD and lots of it... just in case. But remember, you can only bring in $10,000 USD into the country per trip.
But there's one thing you shouldn't expect and that is pain relief. They don't use gas or an epidural to ease your pain, so good luck experiencing the miracle (and pain) of birth.