How prepared are European hospitals to manage a steep increase of intensive care hospitalizations, needed in severe cases of coronavirus syndrome? We have collected some data, but the picture is far from complete.
According to OECD data, German hospitals are the most prepared to host a high number of patients in case the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus disease should flare up. In the following graph we highlighted the four European countries most affected by the phenomenon so far. Above all Italy, with more than 10,000 confirmed cases, followed by France, Germany and Spain, where the cases exceeded one thousand and are rising constantly.
Germany has about 6 hospital beds for one thousand inhabitants (data are updated to 2017), about double than France. Spain and Italy follow, with 2.6 and 2.4 respectively. However, these data refer to beds available for all for all types of treatment, with the exception of psychiatric treatments. They should not be confused with intensive care beds, those needed for the most severe cases of coronavirus syndrome (COVID-19).
According to a 2012 study , Germany is still the most well equipped country also on this side, with 29.2 critical care beds per 100,000 inhabitants (critical care includes both intensive and sub-intensive treatments). Way behind lay the other three considered countries: Italy (12.5), France (11.6) and Spain (9.7), compared to an EU average of 14.3 critical care beds for every 100,000 inhabitants.
In this spreadsheet we collected the data of the mentioned paper, together with the most recent data we were able to find on critical and intensive care beds in Europe – that seem to confirm the exceptionality of the German healthcare system compared with other countries.
If you are aware of more updated data, please help us completing the table, modifying it directly and providing a link to the source.