After Italy, Spain and the United States, is Mexico ready?

Last night Friday, March 27th, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador finally asked the Mexicans not to leave their houses unless it was necessary. That is, a month later with 717 confirmed cases and 12 deaths after the contagion began to spread.  

The lack of confidence in Mexico’s health care providers has caused fear and misinformation. The question in the minds of millions of Mexicans today is one: Is Mexico prepared to face a health crisis like that of Italy, Spain and now the United States?

The answer is in the numbers.
Worldwide, there are a certain number of hospital beds for every thousand inhabitants. The level of inpatient services required for each country depends on several factors, such as demographics and/or disease burden, there is no global target for the number of hospital beds per country. Therefore, while 2 beds per 1,000 in one country may be sufficient, 2 beds per 1,000 in another may be inadequate due to the number of people hospitalized.

These numbers give us a general idea of the availability of inpatient services.

10 Countries with the largest number of beds
Monaco with 13.8  
Japan with 13.4
North Korea with 13.2 
South Korea with 11.5 
Belarus with 11
Ukraine with 8.8 
Somalia with 8.7 
Germany with 8.3 
Greenland with 8.2 
Russia with 8.2

Within the Index Mundi list, we can see that Italy is in 67th place with 3.4 beds, Spain is in 73rd place with 3 beds per thousand inhabitants, the United States is in 76th place with 2.9 beds and Mexico is in 125th place with 1.5 beds per thousand inhabitants.

It has been mentioned that in the transmission of COVID-19 there are  factors that can aggravate the disease. Among them, the 4 most mentioned:

Let’s review those figures:

It has a population of 60,359,546. At least 25 million people in Italy suffer from being overweight or obese, a disease that affects more men than women.

according to the Italian Obesity Barometer  46% of adults have this condition (18 years old and over), that is 23 million people, and 24% of those under 18 1.7 million people, are overweight. In both age groups there are differences according to gender: women show a lower rate of obesity (9.4%) than men (11.8%).

If we talk about smoking, Italy up to 2019 had 11.6 million smokers, 7.1 million men and 4.5 million women,

Similarly, ANSA reported that 3.7 million people have diabetes and 38% of Italians ages 35-65 years suffer from hypertension.

It has a population of almost 48 million. Until 2019, it was estimated that 25% of the population in Spain, or approximately 12 million people, were obese or overweight.

If we talk about smoking, Spain until 2019 had 11 million smokers and 12.4 million ex-smokers. 

According to the Spanish Diabetes Society, 6+ million people suffer from this condition and it is estimated that 14 million people have high blood pressure. According to health experts, the main problem is that, it is estimated that approximately 4 million people do not know it and another 9 million do not have it under control.

United States.
It has a population of more than 330 million. According to data from the CDC or The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention up to 2019, it was estimated that 35% of the total population in the United States, around 115 million people, were obese or overweight.

If we talk about smoking, it is estimated that 34.2 million people in the United States are active smokers. 

The American Diabetes Association estimates there are 34.2 million adults with diabetes, of which 26.8 million have been diagnosed and 7.3 million have not been diagnosed. ADA estimates that each year there is a growth of 1.5 million Americans who are diagnosed with diabetes.

In terms of high blood pressure numbers, the CDC estimates that more than 100 million people have it. That’s about one-third of the population.

The National Institute of Statistics and Geography -INEGI- estimates that Mexico has a population of 127 million. According to data from the Mexican Institute of Social Security, it is estimated that 76% of the total population in Mexico, that is, more than 96 million people are obese or overweight.

If we talk about smoking, according to the National Survey of Drug, Alcohol and Tobacco Consumption in Mexico there are more than 15.6 million active smokers.

According to statistics from the Mexican Federation of Diabetes, in the country, about 8.6 million people suffer from diabetes and as for of high blood pressure, it is estimated that 15.2 million Mexicans suffer from hypertension.

Equipment – Health system figures.

According to the Health Services latest diagnosis regarding the amount of equipment and supplies til March 19, 2020 they have the following:

6,175 ventilators for breathing support.
5,335 monitors.
669 red carts.

At the State Health Services, it was indicated that they have

39,483 hospital beds in medical units.
160 beds in pneumology areas.
61 Infectious disease clinics.
643 shock rooms.

In general, hospitals of the Ministry of Health, IMSS, ISSSTE and others have a total of 121,435 hospital beds.

In terms of human capital, the health sector mentions having 39,701 doctors and 112,042 nurses in operating care units.

The numbers are cold and impersonal, draw your own conclusions.

José E. Urioste Palomeque
For The Yucatan Times / Times Media Mexico
March 28 2020
Merida Yucatan, Mexico