A couple on the dance floor at a Mérida hospital. A couple on the dance floor at a Mérida hospital.

Hospital dance floors are popular in Mérida

Patients encouraged to dance while waiting for appointments

Long, boring waits for medical appointments are a thing of the past for some patients in Yucatán: now they can dance before they see their doctor.

The board of the Social Security Institute (IMSS) Regional Hospital in Mérida has started a program called “Surprise Factor,” whose goal is to make the time spent waiting at IMSS clinics and hospitals more pleasant and entertaining for patients.

When music suddenly starts playing in waiting rooms, people are encouraged to get up and dance.

A video shared by IMSS shows patients, nurses and other employees doing just that on the improvised dance floors with some of the former approaching others to request the chance to share a dance.

The program has particularly taken off in Mérida but the IMSS board said it has been well received by patients generally and asserted that it doesn’t have any negative impact on its normal operations.

The dancing program isn’t the only innovative initiative IMSS has introduced.

In its hospitals in Hopelchén and Hecelchakán in Campeche, recovering patients can choose to convalesce in a hammock rather than a bed.

Hammocks are very common on the Yucatán Peninsula and the idea to give them a try in a setting far removed from those with which they are commonly associated stemmed from their popularity.

The project was the brainchild of Dr. Roberto Campos.

“If the norm in the Yucatán Peninsula is to use hammocks, then why not put hammocks in the hospital?” he told media outlet Al Jazeera.



“It’s a way of breaking with the dominant vertical power structure where doctors are the ones who establish how hospitals are supposed to be,” the doctor added.

According to IMSS data last year, 96% of patients who used hammocks while in hospital reported experiencing greater levels of comfort than when they were in ordinary hospital beds.

Source: La Sirena (sp), El universal (sp)

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