UHWI extends range of medical services to JFF under far-reaching MOU

By July 11, 2018
UHWI CEO Kevin Allen (seated centre) and JFF President Michael Ricketts sign an MOU that will see the  hospital offer a suite of medical services to players in the national programme. JFF General Secrertary (seated left), Dr. Carl Bruce, Dr. Guyan Arscott and Sophia Harris-Lau look on. UHWI CEO Kevin Allen (seated centre) and JFF President Michael Ricketts sign an MOU that will see the hospital offer a suite of medical services to players in the national programme. JFF General Secrertary (seated left), Dr. Carl Bruce, Dr. Guyan Arscott and Sophia Harris-Lau look on.

The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) and the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) have signed a memorandum of understanding under which the hospital will provide a range of medical services for players in the national programme.

The announcement was made at the JFF Headquarters in Kingston on Wednesday.

Under the agreement that was spearheaded by the JFF’s marketing head Sophia Harris-Lau, who also worked closely with the hospital to fast-track the deal, the UHWi will provide 140 MRIs, 120 CT Scans, 60 plain X-Rays, and 100 ECGs as well as ambulance services to the JFF. However, the ambulance services will be restricted to the Kingston Metropolitan Area. The value of the services offered is just under US$80,000 orJ$10 million.

Kevin Allen, CEO of the UHWI, said the agreement is part of the hospital’s social responsibility in giving back to the country and its people. “We want to be at the forefront to get Jamaica back on track in terms of the next World Cup 2022 in Doha, Qatar. So the UHWI wants to play a pivotal role, front and centre,” he said, adding that the hospital has plans to eventually add rehabilitation services to the deal.

Allen also revealed that the UHWI has also digitized its services which will make it easier to communicate with the personnel who treat Jamaica’s players based overseas.

“We have the experts, we have the equipment and in the case of any unfortunate situation, those players that we expect to come onboard from overseas, we will be able to send the information to their doctors, their clubs at the click of a button so that they can help with the management and care of the player.”

Dr. Guyan Arscott Chairman of the JFF Medical Committee said services available under the MOU will help restore confidence in the federation’s ability to assist players in times of medical need.

“There is no sport that generates as much interest, that reaches out, particularly to the underserved in any country than football. The JFF has about 13 groups both female and males, from u13 right up to our senior teams. These groups have been in the trenches training and getting good coaching,” Dr. Arscott said.

“We have physiotherapists and doctors but a quandary is that sometimes there is no confidence in what we can do if something should happen that requires more detailed medical examination, imaging and investigation and there is no institution that is better equipped to carry out some of these than the UHWI,” he said.

He explained that the sport’s world governing body FIFA has many of the expensive and intricate tests mandatory, and with many of the 13 groups involved in international duties, the MOU has come at a very opportune time for the JFF.

“When we can call up the personnel at the UHWI and say such and such a player is on his way for an MRI and they will get it with an MRI machine that is working this will send a lot of confidence throughout the system,” Dr. Arscott said.

Even as this is happening the UHWI has been upgrading its capacity to handle more cases of cardiac testing and other related medical procedures. Dr. Carl Bruce, Medical Chief of Staff at the University of the West Indies said the UHWI has recently acquired the only four-dimensional cardiac screening echocardiogram in the region. They also have a mobile echocardiogram unit. According to Dr. Bruce the hospital is also about to complete construction of an interventional suite and CAT lab.





Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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