In the pandemic there are still many pages to be written. But there are already lessons. And there are also societies that are daring to review their failings when dealing with Covid-19. Will Mexico, its society and its government, be able to learn from the outside, even when in our case the figures are far from showing that, against the official version, we are overcoming the tragedy?
The Daily newspaper podcast The New York Times released this Monday is titled ‘The Mistakes New York Made’. Michael Barbaro, the host of that successful broadcast, thus introduced the topic: “An investigation of the Times He finds that, for one person, surviving the coronavirus in New York had a lot to do with the hospital he went to. ”
In other words, and contrary to what López-Gatell declares over and over again, in Mexico, regardless of pre-existing health factors, for a patient the probabilities of succeeding in this disease are directly related to factors of the health system. And the differences between the care received in a private and a public hospital are, for example, palpable.
In New York City, it is recalled on the podcast, there are 47 hospitals. The journalists of the Times They found “significant differences between the level of care given in the luxurious private hospitals, located mostly in Manhattan, and the public ones, scattered in other areas” of the so-called iron city.
The differences between public and private occur in equipment and in the number and quality of personnel. In the emergency room, it is recalled on the podcast, ideally there should be four patients for each nurse. In the pandemic, with hospitals placed under tremendous stress, that proportion was not met. But while in private hospitals there were numbers of one nurse for every six or seven patients, in public hospitals one person for nursing was “for every 10 or 15 or even 20 patients,” according to reporter Brian Rosenthal. . And in the intensive care rooms the numbers were similar: during the pandemic, in the private ones for each nurse there were three or four patients, while in the public ones there were seven, eight or nine patients per nurse.
In Mexico, we still know little about the mortality parameters among those who are cared for in private institutions, compared to those who go to public hospitals, which are of course the majority.
But the report of the Times establishes, with data, that “part of the difference in mortality can be explained” by pre-existing health conditions of the patients, “but what the experts and the doctors we spoke with said is that the quality of care was definitely a factor in those differences. ”
That is, regardless of comorbidities, medical care counts, and a lot.
In our country, on Tuesday, once again, the main spokesperson for the pandemic spent long minutes blaming chronic illnesses for what happens to us.
“Today that we have the Covid epidemic, and not only in Mexico but throughout the world, it has been possible to document in a very consistent way with very robust epidemiological analysis methods that these diseases, cardiometabolic, hypertension, diabetes, obesity and others that I will mention below, they are causing the greatest contribution of mortality from Covid, ”said Hugo López-Gatell that day in the morning of the National Palace.
In part, the official Gatell is right: comorbidities do not help us at all. But what is not correct is that he only tries to see that portion of reality, that which escapes him because they are indeed old problems. Instead, I wish I could review the New York lessons, and tell us soon how we can increase the chances of survival for those who care in public hospitals. Because if that was the case in the Big Apple, where the great inequalities also emerged, one does not even want to imagine how Cuautitlán is going.