Waiting room becomes a dance floor at Mérida hospitals

Dancing relieves the tension in a hospital waiting room. Photo: Desde el Balcón
Dancing relieves the tension in a hospital waiting room. Photo: Desde el Balcón

Mérida, Yucatán — To take the edge off the long, tedious wait for a doctor’s appointment, the IMSS has started a program that encourages festive dancing in hospitals.

The program translates to the “Surprise Factor” and it was first introduced at the Regional General Hospital No. 1 and other government-run medical centers in Yucatán. It made national news recently when El Universal in Mexico City shared a video of hospital patients dancing in the corridors to up-tempo Latin rhythms.

Disco balls and strobe lights were apparently not necessary. The video shows smiling patients and staff swinging their hips in the otherwise antiseptic hospital atmosphere.


According to the honorary director of volunteering in Yucatán, Norma Nemer Álvarez de Méndez, the program was designed at the national level with the aim of offering a diversion to patients and families waiting for their turn in the consultation room.

“Our goal is to break the ice so people won’t feel bored or upset about waiting,” said the executive director of volunteering, Rita Elena Vázquez de Acevedo.

One week at T1, which the regional hospital is called, featured Cuban dance music, which was followed by modern music the next week. Each time, many of the “surprised” visitors got out of their seats and showed off their moves.

Some dancers thanked the volunteers for the happy diversion.

“They appreciate the support and say that we changed the moment. Sometimes they are anxious or worried and giving them activities in some way also relaxes them,” said Vázquez de Acevedo.

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Álvarez de Méndez added that although the program is usually carried out in T1, they also plan to take it to the Regional General Benito Juárez Hospital and plan to “surprise” patients from units located in the interior of the state. On the Dia Del Niño, April 30, volunteers will visit young patients at rural Acanceh’s public hospital.

Source: Desde el Balcón

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