High standard of South African hospitals most impressive
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"The high standard of the hospitals in Pretoria, Rustenburg, Johannesburg and Bloemfontein is most impressive," said FIFA Executive Committee member and Chairman of the FIFA Medical Committee, Dr Michel D'Hooghe. "One can only congratulate our colleagues on their selection - and the South African health system on its achievements."

After the second joint workshop of the leading medical staff of FIFA and the LOC medical officers, the FIFA delegation undertook an inspection visit of the medical facilities at the four FIFA Confederations Cup 2009 venues and the hospitals assigned to provide medical care to teams and delegations during this competition and later during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™.

The most-needed services during these elite football competitions will be sports medicine, orthopaedic consultancy, accident & emergency and intensive care. Adequate imaging facilities are also important for teams, particularly for soft-tissue injuries. "What we have seen here in these regards clearly meets the highest worldwide standards," confirmed Prof. Jiri Dvorak, FIFA Chief Medical Officer. "Furthermore, travelling distances between the stadiums and hospitals are mostly very short or, if not, they can be covered by air transport, which is readily available."

All four stadiums that will be used at the FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa 2009 are existing facilities that have been or are currently being updated to meet FIFA standards. Some of them have mainly been used for rugby competitions and so required renovation to meet the FIFA standards for international elite-level football competitions. Therefore, a final statement on the medical facilities could not be made.

"Overall, I am very pleased with what we were shown," concluded Prof. Dvorak. "Not only the infrastructure and organisation, but particularly the level of knowledge and expertise of the hospital management and medical staff, and of course of the designated LOC venue medical officers, which leaves me with the utmost confidence that the medical care for players and delegations at the FIFA competitions will be state of the art."