PM rates UWI sports medicine facility as 'first class'Saturday, May 20, 2017
BY BALFORD HENRY
PRIME Minister Andrew Holness has rated the facilities of The University of the West Indies' (UWI) Division of Sports Medicine as “first class”.“This is clearly a first class facility, and it is obvious that Jamaica is developing leading expertise in the area,” Holness commented when he toured the facilities on a visit to the Mona Campus recently, to be formally added to the list of Caribbean prime ministers who have graduated from the institution.
He said that he was very pleased to see it in operation and to see Jamaican athletes recuperating there.
“Given its quality, it is clear to see where the country can capitalise on the facility. In fact, it's probably already in a commercial phase and I think Jamaica can leverage that for other greater things. It's a lovely facility and The University of the West Indies is indeed a world leader in this regard,” he added.
During the tour, the prime minister was given a first-hand look at the high-level services being offered by the Division of Sports Medicine and the related Sports Medicine Clinic.
Both facilities fall under the university's Faculty of Medical Sciences and are focused on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of injuries sustained during athletic activities. The division, which offers Masters programmes in sports medicine and physiotherapy, exposes qualified physicians to the scientific, medical, technical, and professional aspects of sports medicine.
Its speciality areas of research and treatment include work with sedentary patients suffering from chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, ischaemic heart disease, as well as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
It also provides advice and services to both recreational and elite athletes.
Holness interacted with the staff and athletes at the Sports Medicine Clinic, while exploring the state-of-the-art facility.
The clinic is the only one of its kind in the Caribbean to specialise in the emerging discipline of sports and exercise medicine. The facility dedicates itself to the treatment of competing athletes through advanced methods such as dry needling and hydrotherapy, in which the clinic has notable expertise. The tour was followed by a brief luncheon.
The prime minister was welcomed by the head of the Division of Sports Medicine Dr Akshai Mansingh, who expressed pleasure and pride at his recognition of the work being undertaken at the facility.
“The value of the work we do here has always been evident in the results we have been able to achieve. It is however an honour to have the prime minister visit our division and see for himself the many strides we have made, and the quality of service we offer to Jamaica's athletes, who we all hold in great esteem,” Dr Mansingh remarked.
Professor Horace Fletcher, dean of the Faculty of Medical Sciences who was present on the tour, discussed the future of the faculty.
“We have very big plans for sports. Our vice chancellor is working on the development of a Faculty of Sports for all the different campuses, and we are hoping that, in conjunction with the Government, we will build a large sports medicine complex at Mona,” he said.
“The source of funding has yet to be sourced, however, I know that there is great interest in realising this project. Therefore, more information should be forthcoming in short order,” Professor Fletcher added.
Also present on the tour was Jason McKay from the Combined Martial Arts Team, which utilises the facilities.
“One gets the impression that the treatment is being carried out in a developed country. I have had the experience of training and receiving treatment in other countries and this centre compares favourably to any I have visited in North America or Asia,” McKay said.
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