Public hospitals in the province of Buenos Aires will have to make clowns available to their young patients

By Kelli Bender
June 08, 2015 04:30 PM
Natacha Pisarenko/AP

Argentina is stocking up on the world’s best medicine: laughter.

A new law in the country’s largest province, Buenos Aires, requires that all public hospitals have clowns available on staff to help cheer up child patients, reports the Associated Press.

The law was passed last month and will be implemented in Buenos Aires’ 70 public hospitals over the next several months.

Pediatrician Andres Kogan said clowns are an amazing asset when it comes to treating kids: The goofy entertainers make the hospital environment seem less threatening and also help shy and abused children open up to their doctors.

Clowns Romina Amato and Erika Veliz, perform for patient Dylan Robledo at a pediatric hospital in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Natacha Pisarenko/AP

At the Central Hospital of Pediatrics, three clowns who come by every Thursday have helped Alejo Lacone, a 9-year-old who was paralyzed in a car accident, find his smile again.

“Since the clowns began coming, the nurses have noticed a difference, and so they have asked that they come more frequently,” Ludmila Arredes, Alejo Lacone’s 19-year-old cousin, said.

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While the new law requires that hospitals have clowns available, it leaves room for the establishments to decide how many clowns they want to hire and how often the entertainers visit the hospital.