The Kosice-Saca hospital in East Slovakia has joined the ranks of the world’s leading sports medical centres after being inaugurated as a FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence on Friday 1 July 2016.

The confirmation of the accreditation brings to a successful conclusion of several years work by doctors at the centre who wished to establish it as a global leader, supported by the Slovak Football Association. “We are proud to have such a center in Slovakia and look forward to be an integrated part of the FIFA worldwide medical network to improve the medical care for our players," stated Jozef Kliment, the General Secretary.

"The aim of the FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence Kosice-Saca is to engage in FIFA projects such as ‘FIFA 11 for Health‘, which is a school-based programme to promote health and physical activity and improve children’s knowledge, attitudes and behaviour with regard to illness and lifestyle," said MD. Peter Polan.

"The advantage our hospital has is the different services we can provide. We have a team of specialists in orthopedics, traumatology, surgery, rehabilitation, cardiology, internal medicine and sports medicine. We also have first-rate diagnostic procedures with MRI, CT or ultrasound facilities. We’re a state-of-the-art hospital with first-rate services.

"We have a long tradition at our hospital as we've provided treatment to Slovakian internationals from a wide variety of sports for many years.“

Kosice-Saca provides health care in a catchment area of about 500,000 inhabitants, although every citizen of Slovakia is able to use its facilities. It employs nearly 1,000 people, of which there are 214 doctors and 314 nurses. Every year, the hospital admits more than 17,000 patients, carries out more than 10,000 surgical procedures and treats more than 850,000 people. The hospital is the only healthcare facility in Slovakia which is certified Slovak Gold Exclusive.

"Our primary objective is to provide first-rate medical services for recreational and professional athletes of all ages from all over Slovakia and abroad," explained MD. Slavik, the director of Kosice-Saca, who stressed that technical co-operation and exchange of experience with other FIFA Medical Centres of Excellence will enable the hospital to further improving its services.

Attendees of the inauguration ceremony included FIFA’s Chief Medical Officer, Prof. Jiri Dvorak, Dr. Martin Vaso, the Head of FIFA’s Medicine and Science Department, Ing. Michal Pisoja, vice-chairman of AGEL SK, MD. Richard Rasi, Mayor of Kosice, and MD. Jan Slavik, the Director of Kosice-Saca Hospital.

"We are very much looking forward to cooperating with the FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence in Kosice-Saca to hopefully implement the FIFA projects: FIFA 11 for Health and FIFA 11+ in Slovakia," said Prof. Dvorak.

“The accreditation coincides with Kosice being the European City of Sport this year and starts the same day as the Chairmanship of the EU. We will support all activities initiated by FIFA in our city and country, not only to improve the health and performance of football players, but also to contribute to the improvement of health of the general population through the school-based program FIFA 11 for Health,” concluded MD. Richard Rasi, Mayor of Kosice and former Minister of Health of the Slovakia.